The natural gas company is scheduled to report fourth-quarter earnings on Tuesday after the market closes. Analysts, on average, anticipate profit of 49 cents a share on revenue of $403.7 million."We are raising our 2012E DCF by another $44mm to $574mm, well above MWE's most recent guidance ($480-$540mm) that was issued with MWE proposed JV buyout of EMG in the Marcellus Shale," Morgan Keegan analysts wrote in a Feb. 3 report. Shares of MarkWest Energy hit a 52-week high on Tuesday of $60.73. The stock's 52-week low of $39 was set on Aug. 8. MarkWest Energy has a forward P/E of 21.64; the average for pipeline companies is 70.94. For comparison, Kinder Morgan Energy (KMP) has a higher forward P/E of 34.02. All nine of the analysts covering MarkWest Energy rated it a buy. MarkWest Energy gets an A+ grade from TheStreet Ratings with a buy rating and a $77.40 price target.
Sempra Energy The energy services company reported Tuesday fourth-quarter earnings of $292 million, or $1.21 a share, up from $280 million, or $1.15 a share, a year earlier. "In our view, SRE is more likely to do a high single digit div increase over the next several years and grow into an average yield," Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts wrote in a Feb. 14 report. "Some investors may be expecting another larger than normal dividend increase of around 15% in Feb. 2012, which is possible, but the yield would still be below average (3.8%)." Shares of Sempra Energy hit a 52-week high on Tuesday of $59. The stock's 52-week low of $44.78 was on Aug. 9. Sempra Energy has a forward P/E of 12; the average for multi-utility companies is 14.44. For comparison, both Duke Energy (DUK) and Centerpoint Energy (CNP) have higher forward P/Es of 14.27 and 15.77, respectively. Eight of the 12 analysts who cover Sempra Energy rated it a hold. Three analysts gave it a buy rating and one rated it sell. TheStreet Ratings gives Sempra Energy an A grade with a buy rating and a $66.61 price target.
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