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Key MLP Ratings Updates as of December 8

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Crestwood Equity Partners

Crestwood Equity Partners (CEQP), the midstream MLP (master limited partnership) mainly involved in natural gas gathering and processing in a few of the US most prolific regions (such as Delaware region), was upgraded at UBS last week. UBS raised CEQP to a “buy” from a “neutral” and increased its target price to $27 from $26 for CEQP’s third rating upgrade in 2017 so far.

Now, 44.4% of analysts recommend a “buy” for CEQP, while 44.4% recommend a “hold,” and the remaining 11.1% recommend a “sell.” CEQP is now trading close to the low range ($25) of the analysts’ target price. CEQP’s average target price of $27.3 implies an ~8% upside potential from its current price level.
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Viper Energy Partners

UBS upgraded VNOM to “buy” from “neutral” last week and raised VNOM’s target price to $27 from $19. Before this, SunTrust Robinson Humphrey initiated coverage of VNOM with a “buy” rating.

Now, 100% of analysts surveyed by Reuters rate Viper Energy Partners a “buy.” VNOM’s average target price of $23.8 implies an ~8% upside potential from its current price level. Viper Energy Partners has the highest EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization) margin among all MLPs. For details, check out Market Realist’s series These MLPs Have the Highest Earnings Margins.

NuStar Energy

NuStar Energy (NS) saw a price target update last week. Stifel cut NS’s target price to $32 from $35. Now, 66.7% of analysts have rated NS a “hold” as of December 8, 2017, while the remaining 33.3% have rated it a “buy.”

NS is now trading below the low range ($31) of the analysts’ target price. Its average target price of $37 implies a ~24% upside potential from its current price level.

TC PipeLines   

TC PipeLines (TCP), the midstream MLP primarily involved in natural gas transportation, saw two opposite price target revisions last week. J.P. Morgan lowered TCP’s target price to $56 from $57, while Citigroup increased its target price to $58 from $57.

Now, 50.0% of analysts rate TCP as a “hold,” while 30% rate it as a “buy,” and the remaining 20% rate it as a “sell.” TCP is currently trading below the low range ($53) of the analysts’ target price. TCP’s average target price of $59.3 implies a ~14% upside potential from its current price level.

Hi-Crush Partners

Seaport Global Securities initiated coverage on Hi-Crush Partners (HCLP) last week with a “buy” rating. Now, 92.3% of analysts rate HCLP as a “buy,” while the remaining 7.7% rate it as a “hold.”

HCLP’s average target price of $15.1 implies a ~42% upside potential from its current price level. HCLP is among the top ten MLPs trading at a significant discount to their target prices. For details, check out Market Realist’s series Ranking MLPs Trading at a Deep Discount to Target Prices.

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