HOUSTON--Enterprise Products Partners L.P. (NYSE: EPD) (“Enterprise”) announced today that the board of directors of its general partner declared an increase in the quarterly cash distribution paid to limited partners to $0.4225 per common unit, or $1.69 per unit on an annualized basis.
The quarterly distribution will be paid on Tuesday, November 7, 2017, to unitholders of record as of the close of business on Tuesday, October 31, 2017. This distribution, which represents a 4.3 percent increase over the distribution declared with respect to the third quarter of 2016, is the 53rd consecutive quarterly increase.
“We are pleased to announce our 62nd distribution increase since our initial public offering in 1998,” said A. J. “Jim” Teague, chief executive officer of the general partner of Enterprise. “We elected to moderate the quarterly increase in our distribution rate with respect to the third quarter of 2017 to $0.0025 per unit compared to the second quarter of 2017. Based on current expectations, we plan to recommend to our board that we continue this level of quarterly distribution growth, $0.0025 per unit per quarter, for 2018 as well. We will reassess our distribution growth rate for 2019 as we consider our investment opportunities and alternatives for returning capital to investors.”
“While small, this moderation in distribution growth will compound to further strengthen our distribution coverage, increase our retained distributable cash flow available to fund growth capital opportunities, and reduce unitholder dilution. Most importantly, we believe the combination of our expected increases in distributable cash flow from new projects going into service during the remainder of 2017 and 2018 and this moderation in distribution growth will get us closer to self-funding the equity portion of our capital investments in the future. Currently, we have approximately $9 billion of capital projects under construction with additional projects under development. By 2019, we believe we could have the potential to fund the equity portion of a $2.5 billion annual capital investment program and consider a common unit buyback program. We believe this step enhances our partnership’s financial flexibility, further strengthens our balance sheet and creates greater long-term value for our limited partners,” stated Teague.
Enterprise will announce its earnings for the third quarter of 2017 on Thursday, November 2, 2017, before the New York Stock Exchange opens for trading. While we are still in the process of finalizing our third quarter of 2017 financial results, we currently expect our distribution coverage for the third quarter of 2017 to be approximately 1.2 times.
Enterprise will host a conference call today at 4 p.m. CT with analysts and investors to discuss this distribution increase and allocation of capital resources. The call will be webcast live on the Internet and may be accessed through the “Investors” section of the partnership’s website, www.enterpriseproducts.com. To listen to the webcast, participants should access the partnership’s website at least 15 minutes prior to the start of the conference call to download and install any necessary audio software. A replay of the webcast will be available for one week following the conference call and may be accessed one hour after completion of the call.
Following the announcement of Enterprise’s earnings on November 2, the partnership will host a conference call at 9 a.m. CT with analysts and investors to discuss earnings. The call will be webcast live on the Internet and may be accessed through the “Investors” section of the partnership’s website. A replay of the webcast will be available for one week following the conference call and may be accessed one hour after completion of the call.
Enterprise Products Partners L.P. is one of the largest publicly traded partnerships and a leading North American provider of midstream energy services to producers and consumers of natural gas, NGLs, crude oil, refined products and petrochemicals. Our services include: natural gas gathering, treating, processing, transportation and storage; NGL transportation, fractionation, storage, and export and import terminals; crude oil gathering, transportation, storage, export and terminals; petrochemical and refined products transportation, storage and terminals; and a marine transportation business that operates primarily on the United States inland and Intracoastal Waterway systems. The partnership’s assets include approximately 50,000 miles of pipelines; 260 million barrels of storage capacity for NGLs, crude oil, refined products and petrochemicals; and 14 billion cubic feet of natural gas storage capacity. This release is intended to be a qualified notice under Treasury Regulation Section 1.1446-4(b). Brokers and nominees should treat one hundred percent (100.0%) of Enterprise’s distributions to non-U.S. investors as being attributable to income that is effectively connected with a United States trade or business. Accordingly, Enterprise’s distributions to non-U.S. investors are subject to federal income tax withholding at the highest applicable effective tax rate.
This press release includes “forward-looking statements” as defined by the Securities and Exchange Commission. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, included herein that address activities, events, developments or transactions that Enterprise and its general partner expect, believe or anticipate will or may occur in the future are forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from expectations, including required approvals by regulatory agencies, the possibility that the anticipated benefits from such activities, events, developments or transactions cannot be fully realized, the possibility that costs or difficulties related thereto will be greater than expected, the impact of competition, and other risk factors included in Enterprise’s reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of their dates. Except as required by law, Enterprise does not intend to update or revise its forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.