(By Balaseshan) Deutsche Bank analyst Curt Launer downgraded rating on shares of Spectra Energy Corp. (NYSE:SE) to "Hold" from "Buy" and lowered price target to $30 from $37. The brokerage reduced its 2012 EPS estimate to $1.40 from $1.80 and its 2013 estimate to $1.55 from $2.00.
SE reported 2Q EPS of $0.33 versus $0.44 last year. Launer's estimate and consensus were $0.40. While he anticipated a decline in quarterly earnings due to commodity exposure, the magnitude of the decline, especially at the DCP Midstream joint venture and at Empress (Canadian Transmission and Processing) were much greater than expected.
The analyst's SoTP valuation model has also been revised based on the new earnings estimates. At the SE level, every $0.01 per gallon change in natural gas liquids prices results in an impact of about $6.5 million. Each $0.10 per mcf change in natural gas is about $3 million and each $1 per barrel change in oil is about $2.5 million.
Comparing these estimates to the expectations from the beginning of this year and adding the decline of about $100 million in earnings from Empress reduces SE earnings by nearly $400 million, the analyst noted.
While it is clear that SE would benefit greatly by commodity moves in the other direction, Launer believes that the yield requirement for the company will be higher in the future than it has been in the past despite the continuation of a strong balance sheet and relatively low payout ratio.
The analyst revised price target and downgraded his rating on the performance decline from commodity linked DCP Midstream and Canadian Processing businesses. He believes SE would receive the full $460 million in tax and periodic distributions, for its 50% interest in DCP Midstream this year but anticipate lower growth.
SE is trading up 0.03% at $29.59 on Friday.