Market Overview

TC PipeLines, LP announces 2019 third quarter financial results


HOUSTON, Nov. 07, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- TC PipeLines, LP (NYSE:TCP) (the Partnership) today reported net income attributable to controlling interests of $56 million and distributable cash flow of $78 million for the three months ended September 30, 2019.  

"The Partnership's assets performed well in the third quarter of 2019 and generated solid operational results, benefiting from continued strong natural gas flows, mainly out of the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin, and from solid contracting levels across our suite of assets," said Nathan Brown, president of TC PipeLines, GP, Inc. "We continued to maintain the common unit distribution at 65 cents per unit and have utilized cash-on-hand to reduce debt levels such that we have a healthy balance sheet which positions us well to self-fund organic growth opportunities as they arise."

"Last week, we were pleased to announce the GTN XPress project, our largest organic opportunity in TCP's 20-year history. This project includes a horsepower replacement program and a brownfield expansion opportunity. The reliability work will enable increased firm natural gas transportation on GTN which, together with the growth component of the project, will sum to 250,000 Dth/d in additional long-term contracts on the pipeline system," continued Brown. "This project was developed in response to shipper demand for incremental transportation service and will enhance market access for growing WCSB natural gas supplies and allow additional market penetration in the Pacific Northwest. Ongoing development of projects like GTN XPress and our PXP and Westbrook XPress expansions in the Northeast continue to demonstrate our ability to economically and efficiently expand our existing infrastructure which we believe will create value for our customers and our unitholders well into the future."

Third quarter highlights (unaudited)

  • generated net income attributable to controlling interests of $56 million
  • paid cash distributions of $47 million
  • declared cash distribution of $0.65 per common unit for the third quarter of 2019
  • generated EBITDA of $100 million and distributable cash flow of $78 million
  • announced the approximately $335 million GTN XPress project which will transport approximately 250,000 Dth/day of additional volumes in late 2023
  • continued to progress our growth projects with Portland XPress II and Westbrook XPress I in service November 1
  • proceeding with $13 million Tuscarora XPress project

The Partnership's financial highlights for the third quarter of 2019 compared to the same period in 2018 were:

  Three months ended   Nine months ended
(unaudited) September 30,   September 30,
(millions of dollars, except per common unit amounts)   2019       2018       2019       2018  
Net income    59       65       216       241  
Net income attributable to controlling interests   56       62       204       231  
Net income per common unit – basic and diluted (a) $ 0.76     $ 0.79     $ 2.79     $ 3.11  
Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) (b)   100       113       341       386  
Cash distributions paid   (47 )     (47 )     (142 )     (171 )
Class B distributions paid   -       -       (13 )     (15 )
Distributable cash flow (b)   78       83       264       296  
Cash distribution declared per common unit $ 0.65     $ 0.65     $ 1.95     $ 1.95  
Weighted average common units outstanding basic and diluted (millions) (c)   71.3       71.3       71.3       71.3  
Common units outstanding, end of period (millions) (c)   71.3       71.3       71.3       71.3  
  1. Net income per common unit is computed by dividing net income attributable to controlling interests, after deduction of net income attributable to the General Partner, by the weighted average number of common units outstanding. Refer to the "Financial Summary-Consolidated Statements of Income" section of this release.
  2. Distributable cash flow and EBITDA are non-GAAP financial measures. Refer to the description of these non-GAAP financial measures in the section of this release entitled "Non-GAAP Measures" and the Supplemental Schedule for further detail.
  3. Under the at-the-market (ATM) program, no common units were issued during the three and nine months ended September 30, 2019 (three and nine months ended September 30, 2018 – nil and 732,973 units issued).

Recent business developments:

Cash distributions – On October 22, 2019, the board of directors of our General Partner declared the Partnership's third quarter 2019 cash distribution in the amount of $0.65 per common unit payable on November 14, 2019 to unitholders of record as of November 1, 2019. The declared distribution to our General Partner was $1 million for its two percent general partner interest.

GTN XPress Project (GTN XPress) - On November 1, 2019, we announced that GTN will move forward with the GTN XPress project which will transport approximately 250,000 Dth/day of additional volumes of natural gas enabled by TC Energy's system expansions upstream. The estimated total project cost of this integrated reliability and expansion project is $335 million. The project's reliability work is anticipated to be in service by the end of 2021 and will account for more than three quarters of the total project cost. These costs are expected to be recovered in recourse rates.  The project's expansion work is anticipated to be commercially phased into service through November 2023. GTN XPress is 100 percent underpinned by fixed rate negotiated contracts with an average term in excess of 30 years. The incremental capacity is expected to generate approximately $25 million in re

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