Energy Transfer Equity posted fourth-quarter and full-year results that were largely in line with expectations, although the fourth quarter was down modestly from last year.
Distributions from Energy Transfer Partners and Regency totaled $237 million for the quarter versus $182 million a year ago. However, in 2012 ETE had also received $75 million from its ownership in Holdco. After netting corporate expenses, ETE earned $185 million in distributable cash flow this quarter, compared with $193 million last year. This implies a 0.95 times distribution coverage ratio on the quarter, despite which ETE raised its distribution by a penny to $0.346 per unit, up 9% year over year.
For the full year, distributable cash flow of $719 million was up nearly 8% over 2012, and distribution coverage of 0.96 times was modestly stronger than the fourth quarter.We expect coverage to continue to be tight in 2014 but think ETE will be able to maintain a penny a quarter increases throughout the year.
Some analysts expect ETE to grow distributions by close to 15% per year over the next five years.