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Pembina Pipeline Corp.’s Q3 Profit Jumps 50.7%: Should You Buy Now?

Pembina Pipeline Corp. (TSX:PPL)(NYSE:PBA), one of the leading transportation and service providers to North America’s energy industry, announced third-quarter earnings results after the market closed on November 5, and its stock has reacted by falling over 3% in the trading sessions since.

Its stock now sits more than 32% below its 52-week high of $46.32 reached back in November 2014, so let’s take a closer look at the results to determine if we should consider initiating long-term positions today.

Breaking down the quarterly results

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

Metric Q3 2015 Q3 2014
Earnings Per Share $0.29 $0.20
Revenue $1.03 billion $1.45 billion

Source: Pembina Pipeline Corp.

Pembina’s earnings per share increased 45% and its revenue decreased 29% compared with the third quarter of fiscal 2014. Its very strong earnings-per-share growth can be attributed to its net earnings increasing 50.7% to $113 million, helped by its general and administrative expenses decreasing 48.2% to $29 million, its net finance costs decreasing 66.7% to $10 million, and its loss from equity-accounted investees decreasing 90% to $2 million.

Its steep decline in revenue can be attributed to lower commodity prices compared with the year-ago period, which led to its revenues decreasing 36.1% to $791 million in its Midstream segment, and this could only be partially offset by its revenues increasing 24.2% to $159 million in its Conventional Pipelines segment and 42.1% to $54 million in its Gas Services segment.

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

  1. Net revenue increased 4.5% to $374 million
  2. Revenues remained unchanged at $52 million in its Oil Sands & Heavy Oil segment
  3. Total throughput volume increased 5.1% to 1,704,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day
  4. Conventional Pipelines revenue volumes increased 6.4% to 600,000 barrels per day
  5. Oil Sands & Heavy Oil contracted capacity remained unchanged at 880,000 barrels per day
  6. Gas Services average revenue volumes increased 62% to 115,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day
  7. Midstream natural gas liquids sales volumes increased 1.9% to 109,000 barrels per day
  8. Operating profit increased 2.7% to $271 million
  9. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization increased 15.1% to $229 million
  10. Adjusted cash flow from operating activities increased 32.3% to $209 million

Pembina also stated that it put two new gas plants, a gathering pipeline, and a natural gas liquids pipeline expansion into service in the third quarter. Scott Burrows, Pembina’s chief financial officer, went on to state that the company “will be bringing new assets into service almost every quarter for the next two years.” This will play a major role in boosting its fee-for-service cash flows, and in doing so, will increase shareholder value.

Should you be a long-term buyer of Pembina today?

It was a solid quarter overall for Pembina, and its comments on its new assets being put into service provides a very positive long-term outlook, so I think its stock should have responded by moving higher. With this being said, I think the weakness in its stock should be used as a long-term buying opportunity, because it trades at inexpensive forward valuations and because it has a high dividend and is dividend-growth play.

First, Pembina’s stock trades at 29.3 times fiscal 2015’s estimated earnings per share of $1.07 and 21.9 times fiscal 2016’s estimated earnings per share of $1.43, both of which are inexpensive compared with its five-year average price-to-earnings multiple of 32.4. I think its stock could consistently command a fair multiple of at least 32, which would place its shares upwards of $45 by the conclusion of fiscal 2016, representing upside of more than 43% from today’s levels.

Second, Pembina pays a monthly dividend of $0.1525 per share, or $1.83 per share annually, which gives its stock a bountiful 5.85% yield. It is also very important to note that it has raised its dividend for four consecutive years, and its ample cash flow from operating activities, including $598 million in the first nine months of fiscal 2015, could allow this streak to continue in 2016.

With all of the information provided above in mind, I think Pembina Pipeline Corp. represents one of the best long-term investment opportunities in the energy sector. All Foolish investors should strongly consider initiating positions today.

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

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