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Energy Transfer Partners Reports Fourth Quarter And Annual Results

Stocks in this article: ETE ETP SXL

Energy Transfer Partners, L.P. (NYSE:ETP) today reported its financial results for the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2012.

Adjusted EBITDA for the three months ended December 31, 2012 totaled $948 million, an increase of $455 million over the three months ended December 31, 2011. Distributable Cash Flow for the three months ended December 31, 2012 totaled $488 million, an increase of $169 million over the three months ended December 31, 2011. Income from continuing operations for the three months ended December 31, 2012 totaled $334 million, an increase of $118 million from the three months ended December 31, 2011.

Adjusted EBITDA for the year ended December 31, 2012 totaled $2.74 billion, an increase of $963 million over the year ended December 31, 2011. Distributable Cash Flow for the year ended December 31, 2012 totaled $1.49 billion, an increase of $335 million over the year ended December 31, 2011. Income from continuing operations for the year ended December 31, 2012 totaled $1.76 billion, an increase of $1.06 billion over the year ended December 31, 2011.

The quarter ended December 31, 2012 included the following significant achievements:

  • Sunoco Merger. On October 5, 2012, ETP completed its merger with Sunoco, Inc. ("Sunoco"). Under the terms of the merger agreement, Sunoco shareholders received 54,971,725 ETP Common Units and $2.6 billion of cash. Prior to the contribution of Sunoco to Holdco, as discussed below, Sunoco contributed $2.0 billion of cash and its interests in Sunoco Logistics Partners L.P. ("Sunoco Logistics") to ETP in exchange for 90,706,000 Class F Units representing limited partner interests in ETP ("Class F Units"). The Class F Units are entitled to 35% of the quarterly cash distribution generated by ETP and its subsidiaries other than Holdco, subject to a maximum cash distribution of $3.75 per Class F Unit per year, which is the current distribution level. As a result ETP, now owns the general partner interest, 100% of the incentive distribution rights, and 33,350,637 common units of Sunoco Logistics. Due to this ownership, ETP consolidated Sunoco Logistics into its financial statements as of the merger date.
  • Holdco Transaction. Immediately following the closing of the Sunoco Merger, Energy Transfer Equity, L.P. ("ETE") contributed its interest in Southern Union Company ("Southern Union") to ETP Holdco Corporation ("Holdco"), an ETP-controlled entity, in exchange for a 60% equity interest in Holdco. In conjunction with ETE's contribution, ETP contributed its interest in Sunoco to Holdco and retained a 40% equity interest in Holdco. Pursuant to a stockholders agreement between ETE and ETP, ETP controls Holdco. Consequently, ETP consolidated Holdco (including Sunoco and Southern Union) in its financial statements subsequent to the consummation of the Holdco Transaction. In connection with this transaction, ETE relinquished its rights to $210 million of incentive distributions from ETP that ETE would otherwise be entitled to receive over 12 consecutive quarters.
  • Strategic Asset Sale. In December 2012, Southern Union entered into a purchase and sale agreement pursuant to which subsidiaries of Laclede Gas Company, Inc. have agreed to acquire the assets of Southern Union's Missouri Gas Energy and New England Gas Company divisions. Total consideration is expected to be $1.04 billion, subject to customary closing adjustments, less the assumption of $19 million of debt. For the period from March 26, 2012 to December 31, 2012, the distribution operations have been reclassified to discontinued operations. The assets and liabilities of the disposal group have been reclassified and reported as assets and liabilities held for sale as of December 31, 2012.
  • Lone Star Fractionator. In December 2012, we announced that Lone Star's 100,000 Bbls/d NGL fractionation facility at Mont Belvieu, Texas is now in service. We will utilize a substantial amount of this fractionation capacity to handle NGL barrels we will deliver from the new processing facility we plan to build in Jackson County, Texas, a facility supported by multiple 10-year contracts with producers as part of our Eagle Ford Shale projects.
  • Lone Star West Texas Gateway NGL Pipeline. In December 2012, we completed construction of the 570-mile, 209,000 Bbls/d Lone Star West Texas Gateway NGL Pipeline ahead of schedule.

An analysis of the Partnership's segment results and other supplementary data is provided after the financial tables shown below. The Partnership has scheduled a conference call for 8:30 a.m. Central Time, Thursday, February 21, 2013 to discuss the 2012 results. The conference call will be broadcast live via an internet web cast which can be accessed through and will also be available for replay on the Partnership's website for a limited time.

Adjusted EBITDA and Distributable Cash Flow are non-GAAP financial measures used by industry analysts, investors, lenders, and rating agencies to assess the financial performance and the operating results of the Partnership's fundamental business activities and should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for net income, income from operations, cash flows from operating activities, or other GAAP measures. A table reconciling Adjusted EBITDA and Distributable Cash Flow with appropriate GAAP financial measures is included in the summarized financial information included in this release. Beginning with the quarter ended December 31, 2012 and applied retroactively to all periods presented, the Partnership has revised its calculation of Adjusted EBITDA and Distributable Cash Flow. (See notes under “Supplemental Information” for further information.)

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