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Boardwalk highlighted for growth potential despite coming contract roll-offs

,despite looming contract roll-offs, is compelling to investors largely due toits growth potential, project backlog and extensive gas pipeline system,according to analysts at U.S. Capital Advisors.

Theanalysts initiated coverage of Boardwalk with a price target of $22 per shareand a "buy" rating. They expect the partnership's EBITDA to reach afour-year peak of $910 million by 2018 before declining from 2019 through 2021as the 10-year producer contracts on its Texas Gas and Gulf Crossing gaspipelines expire.

Weighingthose roll-offs against a stream of projects slated to come online, analystsColin Crosby, Becca Followill and James Carreker estimated that Boardwalk'sunits will trade at roughly 10.4x EBITDA by 2020. "We view that as cheapfor steel in the ground and solid exposure to growing natural gas demand,"they said in a Sept. 28 note.

Theanalysts also took note of Boardwalk's liquids assets in Louisiana andproximity to increasing demand for LNG exports and ethane crackers.

Thepartnership has a roughly $1.6 billion capital spending program and a 2016distribution coverage ratio of 5.0x, the analysts said. It was on Credit Suisse's listof stock picks earlier in September.  

Boardwalkunits closed at $16.75 on Sept. 27.