NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of El Paso Pipeline Partners  (EPB) were down 0.52% to $36.42 in morning trading Wednesday ahead of the company's third-quarter earnings report after the market closes. Here's what analysts are expecting from the company.

The consensus estimate calls for El Paso Pipeline to report earnings of 39 cents a share on revenue of $386.20 million. In the third quarter last year, the company posted earnings of 40 cents a share, less than the consensus estimate of 47 cents a share. Revenue totaled $369 million, which came up short of analysts' estimate of $383.27 million.

In the second quarter of 2014, El Paso Pipeline reported earnings of 35 cents a share, which came up short of the consensus estimate of 38 cents a share. Revenue totaled $353 million, less than analysts' expectations of $377.22 million.

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Billionaire Richard Kinder announced a $44 billion consolidation plan earlier this year to bring Kinder Morgan  (KMI) - Get Report , Kinder Morgan Energy Partners (KMP) , Kinder Morgan Management (KMR) and El Paso Pipeline Partners under one umbrella.

Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates EL PASO PIPELINE PARTNERS LP as a "buy" with a ratings score of B. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate EL PASO PIPELINE PARTNERS LP (EPB) a BUY. This is driven by some important positives, 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 good cash flow from operations and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat weak growth in earnings per share."

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

  • Net operating cash flow has slightly increased to $171.00 million or 4.26% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, EL PASO PIPELINE PARTNERS LP has also modestly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -4.80%.
  • The gross profit margin for EL PASO PIPELINE PARTNERS LP is currently very high, coming in at 76.77%. Regardless of EPB's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, EPB's net profit margin of 37.11% significantly outperformed against the industry.
  • Regardless of the drop in revenue, the company managed to outperform against the industry average of 2.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 1.7%. The declining revenue appears to have seeped down to the company's bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • Reflecting the weaknesses we have cited, including the decline in the company's earnings per share, EPB has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 6.55% from its price level of one year ago. Looking ahead, although the push and pull of the overall market trend could certainly make a critical difference, we do not see any strong reason stemming from the company's fundamentals that would cause a continuation of last year's decline. In fact, the stock is now selling for less than others in its industry in relation to its current earnings.
  • Return on equity has greatly decreased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of major weakness within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, EL PASO PIPELINE PARTNERS LP has underperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has exceeded that of the S&P 500.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: EPB Ratings Report

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