7. Spectra Energy Partners, (SEP - Get Report) through its subsidiaries, engages in the transportation and gathering of natural gas through interstate pipeline systems. The company owns and operates over 3,100 miles of pipelines that serve the southeastern quadrant of the U.S.
The company announced that its board of directors declared a quarterly cash distribution to shareholders of 46.5 cents per share from the previous 46 cents per share, a 1.5% increase. The raised dividend was paid on Aug. 12, 2011 and equates to $1.86 per share on annual basis. This is the 15th consecutive quarter that the company has increased its quarterly cash distribution and has a current dividend yield of 5.6%. The one-year net growth rate for dividend per share stands at 9.3%.
The company reported second quarter 2011 net income of $37.6 million, increasing 13%, or 36 cents per limited partner unit from the year-ago quarter. For the quarter, cash available for distribution was $35.4 million, up 6% over the same quarter prior year. During the quarter, SEP invested $15.1 million in expansion and maintenance capital projects in its gas transportation and storage segment, and an additional $7 million in expansion projects at Market Hub Partners.Of the 12 analysts covering the stock, 33% suggest a buy and 58% rate a hold. Analysts polled by Bloomberg foresee the stock gaining an average 22.2% to $33.33 in the upcoming 12 months.