We maintain the quarterly distribution at $0.31 per unit and the dividend at $0.10 per share. We expect these rates will remain flat through the fourth quarter of 2011 prior to the growth projects starting up in 2012. With the temporary operational challenges and a continued contribution from the commodity-based opportunities, we kept the distribution and dividend flat in the third quarter at $0.31 and $0.10 per share, respectively. This still represents a year-to-year date -- year-to-date increase in distributions of approximately 19% and dividends of approximately 25%.
Our distribution so far this year have put it us in a position to exceed the top end of our distribution and dividend guidance. It's important for you to take away that we remain committed to distribution growth while maintaining disciplined balance sheet management. Because of the importance of distributions and dividends, Mike will go into greater detail regarding our plans and the process we go through to set them. However, I want to emphasize that we set them at the level we believe is appropriate given the results of the quarter and forward projections and not in the motive of quarter-by-quarter increases, which are not justified by actual results.
Before I give an update on growth projects, I want to discuss the current industry environment. As you know, there has been significant activity in our industry sector this quarter. We think this indicates great optimism that the natural gas industry will continue to grow and highlights the value of our franchise positions in North Texas and throughout Louisiana, as well as our capabilities to provide infrastructure and services in new basins.
Today's market price for natural gas is about $3.50 per MMBtu with expectations that it will remain in this range for some time. Crude has been trading around $90 per barrel with weighted average natural gas liquids prices trading around $1.35 per gallon. The relative low gas price compared to crude and NGL prices has caused a shift to rich gas and crude. And the oil and gas rig count in North America tell the story.Read the rest of this transcript for free on seekingalpha.com
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV