TransCanada Profit Tops Estimates Ahead of Key Legal Decisions

TransCanada Hickory Bend Gathering System and Cryogenic Processing Plant, in Ohio (TransCanada)

TransCanada Corp. posted first-quarter profit that topped analysts’ estimates, giving the pipeline company momentum as it enters a period that’s likely to feature key legal decisions on some of its major projects.

TransCanada is benefiting from increased energy production and a shortage of pipeline capacity that’s keeping its Keystone oil pipeline system and Columbia natural gas system running at high rates. The earnings strength may reassure TransCanada investors as the company awaits a Nebraska Supreme Court ruling on regulatory approval for its proposed Keystone XL pipeline’s route through the state.

The company said May 3 it expects the decision on the $8 billion project this quarter. TransCanada is entering a key period for its $4.6 billion Coastal GasLink natural gas project.

Regulatory approval for the line also been challenged, and a decision is expected in the third quarter, the company said May 3. TransCanada added that there’s been progress on plans to sell a majority stake in the project. Some of the company’s natural gas pipelines in Mexico also are facing delays. The start of the Sur de Texas line has been delayed by force majeure events, and construction on part of the Tula project has been set back because of a lack of progress by the government’s energy department.