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Tickers in this Article: SE, SEP, GLF, NR
Texas-based Spectra Energy Corporation (SE) plans to transfer all of its remaining U.S. Transmission and Storage assets to its limited partnership interest Spectra Energy Partners, LP (SEP) by the end of 2013.

The transaction, subject to market conditions, is expected to be immediately value accretive for its investors. It will strengthen the partnership’s position and enable it to move ahead with other growth prospects.

Upon completion of the drop down, management intends to boost the dividend payout to around 12 cents per year from the current commitment of 8 cents per year.

The investors in the partnership will also benefit from an increase in the quarterly distribution rate to a penny a quarter from the current three quarters of a cent.

Spectra Energy Corp. has faced several challenges from low commodity prices, which impacted its bottom line in the recent quarters, similar to most of its peer companies. But with the improving price scenario, Spectra is enjoying a growth momentum. The company has an upbeat 2013 outlook both on organic as well as inorganic growth.

Spectra Energy Corp., through its subsidiaries and equity affiliates, engages in the ownership and operation of a portfolio of complementary natural gas-related energy assets. The company operates in four segments: U.S. Transmission, Distribution, Western Canada Transmission & Processing, and Field Services. The company also has 50% ownership in DCP Midstream, one of the largest natural gas gatherers and processors in the U.S.

Spectra Energy Partners, LP was formed in July 2007 by Spectra Energy Corp., which serves as the master limited partnership’s (MLP) general partner and manages and operates the entity with an overall 74% retained ownership (limited partner & general partner units).

Spectra Energy Corp. carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). However, Zacks Ranked #1 (Strong Buy) stocks – Newpark Resources Inc. (NR) and Gulfmark Offshore, Inc. (GLF) – are expected to perform impressively over the short term.

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