UPDATE 1-Boardwalk Q1 trails Street view on higher expenses

lunes 27 de abril de 2009 13:19 CEST

* Q1 profit $0.29/unit misses est. of $0.51/unit

* Revenue $223.4 mln trails est. of $249.2 mln

April 27 (Reuters) - Boardwalk Pipeline Partners LP (BWP.N: Cotización), which operates natural gas pipelines and storage facilities, posted a 41 percent drop in first-quarter profit, hurt partly by higher expenses due to expansion projects.

In the latest quarter, the company's net income was $52 million, or 29 cents a unit, compared with $88.1 million, or 68 cents a unit, in the year-ago period.

Operating revenue, however, rose 13 percent to $223.4 million, helped by gas transportation revenue associated with the expansion projects.

Analysts expected the company to earn 51 cents a unit, before items, on revenue of $249.2 million, according to Reuters Estimates.

Expenditure related to pipeline expansion projects such as the Gulf Crossing project, and the Fayetteville and Greenville laterals, totalled $262.1 million in the quarter, the company said.

Boardwalk, whose majority owner is Loews Corp (L.N: Cotización) -- the conglomerate controlled by the billionaire Tisch family -- also said its profit was hurt by a rise in operating and maintenance expenses associated with major projects and higher interest expense.

Shares of the company closed at $22.50 Friday on the New York Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Antonita Madonna Devotta in Bangalore; Editing by Anil D'Silva)