By Philadelphia Business Journal

Sunoco Logistics Partners LP on Thursday reported fourth-quarter earnings that met analystsâ¿¿ estimates, fourth-quarter revenue that beat them, and increased its cash distribution.

The Philadelphia-based operator of pipelines and terminals used for transporting and storing crude oil and petroleum products posted net income attributable to its owners of $59 million, or $1.42 per diluted limited partner unit, which was the average earnings estimate of 10 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.

The results were up from the fourth quarter of 2009, when Sunoco Logistics (NYSE:SXL) earned $54 million attributable to its owners, or $1.30 per diluted unit.

Sunoco Logistics had revenue of $2.22 billion in the fourth quarter of 2010, beating the average revenue estimate of six analysts polled by Thomson Reuters, which was $1.92 billion, and up from $1.66 billion in the fourth quarter of 2010.

The partnershipâ¿¿s general partner increased its quarterly cash distribution for the 23rd consecutive quarter to $1.18 per unit.

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