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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- MPLX (MPLX) - Get MPLX LP Report shares are up by 6.61% to $62.93 in late morning trading on Tuesday, as the stock continues to gain after MPLX announced a $15.8 billion merger with natural gas transporter MarkWest Energy Partners (MWE) .

The combination, which MarkWest agreed to yesterday, will create the world's fourth largest master limited partnership with a market cap of approximately $21 billion.

MPLX is Marathon Petroleum's (MPC) - Get Marathon Petroleum Corporation Report master limited partnership.

MarkWest shareholders will receive 1.09 MPLX common shares and a one-time cash payment of $3.37 per share of MarkWest, or a total consideration of $78.64 per share.

"Our strategic combination with MarkWest would result in a large-cap, diversified MLP with an exceptional growth profile. This transaction creates a tremendous platform for the combined partnership to continue to grow distributable cash flow and creates significant long-term value for the unit holders," MPLX CEO Gary Heminger said in a statement.

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Additionally, on Monday Moody's (MCO) - Get Moody's Corporation Report ratings agency reaffirmed MPLX's Baa3 rating following its MarkWest acquisition.

Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates MPLX LP as a Buy with a ratings score of B. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate MPLX LP (MPLX) a BUY. This is driven by a few notable strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, expanding profit margins and solid stock price performance. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company is trading at a premium valuation based on our review of its current price compared to such things as earnings and book value."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • The revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 38.9%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 0.1%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • MPLX LP has improved earnings per share by 26.7% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, MPLX LP increased its bottom line by earning $1.55 versus $1.03 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.32 versus $1.55).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry. The net income increased by 33.3% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $34.20 million to $45.60 million.
  • The gross profit margin for MPLX LP is rather high; currently it is at 60.07%. Regardless of MPLX's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, MPLX's net profit margin of 33.16% significantly outperformed against the industry.
  • Current return on equity exceeded its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of strength within the company. In comparison to other companies in the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, MPLX LP has underperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has greatly exceeded that of the S&P 500.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: MPLX Ratings Report