Valero Energy Partners income hit by winter weather

Pipeline and storage company Valero Energy Partners said Wednesday that its first-quarter net income fell 28 percent because of costs incurred as a new publicly traded company and because harsh winter weather stifled demand for products and slowed crude oil supplies.

Net income at Valero Energy Partners, which was spun off refiner Valero Energy Corp. in December, fell to $10.5 million, or 18 cents a unit, from $14.5 million for the same period last year when the assets were owned by Valero.

Despite the decline, the showing met analysts’ expectation that the company would earn 18 cents a unit.

Operating expenses in the quarter rose by $2.6 million to $5.8 million, as the company logged costs related to its launch as a new public company and because of higher planned maintenance.

The locally based master limited partnership generated earnings before interest, taxes and other costs of $13.9 million and distributable cash flow of $13.6 million in the quarter. It was the company’s first full quarter as a publicly traded company.

Its units closed at $43.52 Wednesday, down 4 cents, in New York Stock Exchange trading.

First-quarter transportation and throughput revenues at the partnership’s terminals fell to $21.5 million compared with first-quarter 2013 revenues of $23.5 million.

The decrease was mostly related to lower volumes handled in the Memphis, Tennessee, logistics system that was caused by the harsh winter weather, which slowed demand for products.

“We completed our first full quarter of operations, and we are excited about our growth prospects,” Chairman and CEO Joe Gorder said in a statement.

On April 17, the board declared a quarterly cash distribution of 0.2125 cents a unit.