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By Tanya Rutledge
Special to the Houston Chronicle
Targa Resources Corp. spent last year focused on internal growth, a move applauded by investors.
The midstream natural gas and natural gas liquids company completed multiple expansion projects in 2011, totaling about $300 million of capital investments.
Targa also has about $1 billion in projects coming online in 2012 and 2013.
Targa Resources Corp. is the parent of and owns general and limited partner interests in Targa Resources Partners. Targa Resources manages the business and assets of the master limited partnership.
Targa Resources Corp. CEO Joe Bob Perkins said investors took note of the company’s commitment to grow internally – and it was reflected in its ability to post a 56 percent total return to shareholders.
“Our investors are recognizing the growth potential of our large set of organic growth pro- jects,” Perkins said. “We’re being recognized for our whole suite of projects.”
Boosted by the return to shareholders and $7 billion in 2011 revenue, Targa came in at No. 6 on the Chronicle 100 list of top public companies. (It went public in December 2010 and wasn’t eligible for last year’s list.)
Targa’s internal growth effort is ongoing, with, for example, a $360 million expansion of a natural gas liquids fractionation plant in Mont Belvieu to come online in 2013.
While organic growth was the primary driver for Targa last year, it also bought three petroleum terminals during 2011.
Perkins said investors were also keenly aware of growth in the company’s dividends, which increased more than 30 percent in 2011.
“A lot of things came together in 2011, but, really, we are being recognized for the work we’ve been doing since 2007,” he said. “These projects don’t just happen. They were started in 2008 and 2009, which was a difficult time in the energy patch.”
About two-thirds of Targa’s business is in gathering and processing natural gas, while a third is in natural gas liquids logistics and marketing, and Perkins said both areas are growing.
Targa has 1,125 employees, 500 of whom are in Houston.
Although revenue rose from $5.5 billion in 2010 to nearly $7 billion last year, Perkins said he doesn’t pay much attention to that number. “We, of course, move with the market, but we are focused on long-term capital investments and our returns to shareholders,” he said. “And we are right on track for 2012 as well.”
Rutledge is a freelance reporter.