NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Energy Transfer Equity (ETE) stock is gaining 4.02% to $7.11 in early-afternoon trading on Monday after the company held discussions about selling gas station and convenience store operator Sunoco (SUN) to help fund its pending acquisition of Williams Cos. (WMB), sources told Reuters.

A potential sale would have included the pipeline company's ownership of the general partnership of Sunoco, which could be worth more than $2 billion, Reuters adds.

Energy Transfer's 36.4% stake in Sunoco's limited partnership also would have been divested. 

The discussions didn't continue due to disagreements about Sunoco's valuation, Reuters notes. However, Energy Transfer might be open to revisiting the possible divestment if it receives fresh interest. 

A sale of Sunoco would help Energy Transfer generate funds needed to pay for the $6 billion cash portion of its proposed deal with Williams Cos., which is scheduled to close during the first half of 2016. As oil prices have plunged, the merger's implied value has been reduced to $14 billion from $33 billion. 

Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates the stock as a "hold" with a ratings score of C.

Energy Transfer Equity's strengths such as its impressive record of earnings per share growth and compelling growth in net income are countered by weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself and poor profit margins.

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

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 article's author. 

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