Enbridge Inc. (TSX:ENB)(NYSE:ENB), one of world’s leading transporters and distributors or crude oil and natural gas, announced first-quarter earnings before the market opened on May 6, and its stock responded by falling over 2.5% in the trading session that followed. Let’s take a closer look at the quarterly results to determine if we should consider using this weakness as a long-term buying opportunity.

Breaking down the first-quarter report

Here’s a summary of Enbridge’s first-quarter earnings results compared with its results in the same period a year ago.

Metric Q1 2015 Q1 2014
Adjusted Earnings Per Share $0.56 $0.60
Revenue $7.93 billion $10.52 billion

Source: Enbridge Inc.

Enbridge’s adjusted earnings per share decreased 6.7% and its revenue decreased 24.6% compared with the first quarter of fiscal 2014, as its adjusted net income decreased 4.9% to $468 million. The company noted that these weak results could be attributed to a “weaker commodity price environment,” which provided challenges to its customers and led to its commodity sales decreasing 34.7% to $5.23 billion.

Here’s a quick breakdown of 10 other notable statistics from the report compared with the year-ago period:

  1. Average deliveries increased 16.1% to 2.21 million barrels per day in its Canadian Mainline segment
  2. Average deliveries increased 21.5% to 815,000 barrels per day in its Regional Oil Sands System segment
  3. Average deliveries decreased 18.5% to 150,000 barrels per day in its Spearhead Pipeline segment
  4. Gas distribution volume increased 2.4% to 217 billion cubic feet
  5. Number of active customers increased 1.5% to 2,108 in its Gas Distribution segment
  6. Average throughput volume increased 4% to 1.86 billion cubic feet per day in its Vector Pipeline segment
  7. Average throughput volume decreased 16.4% to 1.15 billion cubic feet per day in its Enbridge Offshore Pipelines segment
  8. Gas distribution sales increased 43.2% to $1.59 billion
  9. Transportation and other services sales decreased 21.2% to $1.11 billion
  10. Cash provided by operating activities increased 353.5% to $1.51 billion

Also, on May 5 Enbridge announced that it will be maintaining its quarterly dividend of $0.465 per share. The next payment will come on June 1 to shareholders of record at the close of business on May 15.

Should you become an investor of Enbridge today?

I think the post-earnings decline in Enbridge’s stock was warranted, but I also think it represents a great long-term buying opportunity.

First, Enbridge’s stock trades at just 27.8 times its median earnings per share outlook of $2.20 for fiscal 2015 and only 23.3 times analysts’ estimated earnings per share of $2.62 for fiscal 2016, both of which are very inexpensive compared with its five-year average price-to-earnings multiple of 39.4 and the industry average multiple of 40.4.

Second, Enbridge pays an annual dividend of $1.86 per share, which gives its stock a 3% yield at current levels. The company has also increased its dividend every year since 1996, making it one of the top dividend-growth plays in the market today.

With all of the information provided above in mind, I think Enbridge represents one of the best long-term investment opportunities in the market today. Foolish investors should take a closer look and strongly consider establishing positions.

Want two more of our TOP energy stock picks?

If so, check out our special FREE report "2 Canadian Energy Stocks on the Cusp of a Powerful Long-Term Trend." In this report, you'll find that Canada is rich in other energy sources that are poised to take off. Click here now to get the full story.

NEW! This Stock Could Be Like Buying Amazon In 1997

For only the 5th time in over 14 years, Motley Fool co-founder David Gardner just issued a Buy Recommendation on this recent Canadian IPO.

Stock Advisor Canada’s Chief Investment Adviser, Iain Butler, also recommended this company back in March – and it’s already up a whopping 57%!

Enter your email address below to claim your copy of this brand new report, “Breakthrough IPO Receives Rare Endorsement.”

Fool contributor Joseph Solitro has no position in any stocks mentioned.