Boardwalk’s Stock Drops Like a Rock – Trouble in Midstreamland?

Boardwalk Pipeline Partners, a Houston-based midstream company, suffered a massive stock drop on Monday (down over 40% in one day) after announcing a big drop in revenue and earnings and lowering cash distribution some 81%. Boardwalk’s stock recovered slightly yesterday–something traders refer to pejoratively as a “dead cat bounce”–meaning when something drops so far from such a height, when it hits bottom it’s likely to bounce at least a little. Ouch. To date, Boardwalk has no presence with its pipelines and other operations in the northeastern Marcellus/Utica region–so why is it news here?

Number one, much of the reason for Boardwalk’s woes is precisely because they don’t have infrastructure in the northeast, an area white hot with activity. Number two, because Boardwalk, partnering with Williams, is trying to establish a presence in the northeast by building the Bluegrass mixed NGL pipeline from the Marcellus/Utica to the Gulf Coast. And Boardwalk/Williams is in a horse race with Kinder Morgan/MarkWest to see who builds their pipeline first (see “Midstream Knife Fight” – Who Will Have 1st Operational NGL Pipeline to Gulf?). Will Boardwalk’s stock drop affect Bluegrass plans? And, as one analyst asks, will Boardwalk’s stock drop bleed over and affect similar midstream companies?…

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