This Move Could Send Inergy Earnings Soaring

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Inergy will release its quarterly report next Tuesday, and with the company having divested itself of its propane-retail business to focus on natural gas pipelines and storage facilities, investors wondered what direction Inergy saw itself moving in strategically. But the master limited partnership (or MLP) answered that question this quarter, and it could have a positive long-term impact on Inergy earnings.

Inergy completed the sale of its propane business to Suburban Propane last year, and since then, it has focused its attention on its majority interest in its Inergy Midstream business, which has various midstream assets in the New York and Pennsylvania area. But a proposed merger could greatly boost Inergy's prospects going forward. Let's take an early look at what's been happening with Inergy over the past quarter and what we're likely to see in its quarterly report.

Stats on Inergy

Analyst EPS Estimate


Year-Ago EPS


Revenue Estimate

$391.75 million

Change From Year-Ago Revenue


Earnings Beats in Past 4 Quarters


Source: Yahoo! Finance.

Why do Inergy earnings look poised to rebound?
Analysts have cut back their views on Inergy earnings in recent months, with a $0.02-per-share drop in June-quarter estimates and a more extensive $0.12-per-share cut to full fiscal 2013 figures. The shares, however, have produced strong returns of more than 20% since late April.

Most of the gains Inergy has seen came in early May, when the company announced that it would combine with Crestwood Midstream Partners to create a larger network of energy transportation and storage assets. The deal will give the combined company a much more extensive reach, adding the Eagle Ford, the Bakken, and the Permian Basin to Inergy's existing Marcellus shale play exposure. Inergy unitholders will get about a 30% interest in the combined company, while Crestwood investors will get about 24% and Inergy Midstream unitholders will get 19%. The rest will be split between internal holdings and Crestwood's parent company, whose shares don't trade publicly.

Inergy clearly hopes that the transaction will help it become a much larger player in the national midstream energy scene. With its foot in the door at nearly every high-value shale play in the nation, the combined Inergy-Crestwood entity will have plenty of growth opportunities to choose from as it seeks to take greater control of its competitive position in the industry.

Inergy also completed the distribution of 56.4 million Inergy Midstream units to its own unitholders in June. The move streamlined the Crestwood transaction, allowing parent Crestwood Holdings to acquire Inergy's general partner. Several moves remain, but the companies expect to complete the transaction during this quarter.

In the Inergy earnings report, watch to see what the MLP says about the status of the merger and the strategic vision for its future. As long as domestic energy production continues to thrive, the combined midstream entity should have plenty of opportunities to see earnings grow well into the future.

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The article This Move Could Send Inergy Earnings Soaring originally appeared on

Fool contributor Dan Caplinger has no position in any stocks mentioned, and neither does The Motley Fool. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DanCaplinger.  Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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