NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Energy Transfer Equity (ETE) were gaining in early-afternoon trading on Monday as Baird lifted its rating on the stock to "outperform" from "neutral," the Fly reports.

The firm also upgraded Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) stock to "outperform" from "neutral."

Energy Transfer Equity is a master limited partnership that owns the general partner and all of the incentive distribution rights of Energy Transfer Partners.

Baird believes the leverage situation is contained in the near-term and that its distributions will likely continue to be stable through 2018, the Fly noted.

The firm boosted its price target on Energy Transfer Equity stock to $20 from $7 and raised its price target on Energy Transfer Partners shares to $45 from $25.

Additionally, oil prices were rallying today. Crude oil (WTI) was up 3.24% to $45.92 per barrel and Brent crude was climbing 3.09% to $47.31 per barrel this afternoon.

Shares of Energy Transfer Partners were lower in midday trading.

Separately, TheStreet Ratings Team has a "Hold" rating with a score of C on Energy Transfer Equity stock.

The primary factors that have impacted the rating are mixed. The company's strongest point has been its expanding profit margins.

But the team also finds weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself, weak operating cash flow and feeble growth in the company's earnings per share.

Recently, TheStreet Ratings objectively rated this stock according to its "risk-adjusted" total return prospect over a 12-month investment horizon. Not based on the news in any given day, the rating may differ from Jim Cramer's view or that of this articles's author.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: ETE

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