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On April 29, 2009, ONEOK Partners ( OKS) reported that its Q1 FY09 net income plunged 38.3% on the back of double-digit decline in revenue. Net income decreased to $77.28 million or $0.85 per unit from $125.31 million or $1.48 per unit in the year-ago quarter. The latest quarterly results beat the consensus estimate of $0.81 per share.

Total revenues plunged 39.2% to $1.25 billion from $2.06 billion a year ago. Segment-wise, the natural gas gathering and processing segment's operating income for the quarter decreased 32.7% to $39.80 million from $59.10 million, hurt by lower realized commodity prices, partially offset by an $8.30 million increase due to higher volumes processed and sold. The natural gas pipelines segment's operating income rose 2.9% to $32.60 million from $31.70 million in Q1 FY08, benefiting from higher natural gas transportation margins as a result of the February 2009 commencement of service of the Guardian Pipeline expansion and extension project and increased retained fuel volumes, partially offset by the impact of lower natural gas prices on retained fuel. The natural gas liquids gathering and fractionation segment's operating income declined 33.8% to $30.00 million from $45.30 million in the same quarter of the last year due to reduced optimization margins from narrower NGL product price differentials between the market centers in Conway and Mont Belvieu, Texas, along with reduced marketing margins. The natural gas liquids pipelines segment's operating income soared 61.6% to $22.30 million from $13.80 million a year ago.

OKS declared a quarterly cash distribution of $1.08 per unit for Q1 FY09, resulting in an annualized cash distribution of $4.32 per unit, payable on May 15, 2009.

Looking forward to FY09, OKS reaffirmed net income to be in the range of $3.15 per unit to $3.75 per unit.

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