NuStar Energy upgraded to Buy at Stifel following strong Q1

|About: NuStar Energy L.P. (NS)|By:, SA News Editor

NuStar Energy (NS +1.2%) is upgraded to Buy from Hold with a $62 price target at Stifel after NS posted its strongest Q1 results in the last five years, in part due to the discontinuation of its asphalt business as well as stronger results in its fuels marketing segment.

While the balance sheet remains leveraged at 4.4x debt to EBITDA, the firm believes the improving unit price offers management an opportunity to de-leverage its balance sheet at some point.

Coverage for the quarter was 0.91x, and management reiterated its 2014 goal of returning to 1.0x coverage ratio.