Any way you slice it, the energy run up from the lows has been outstanding, and investors who had the courage to buy back in January and February have been well rewarded. While not over, after a 55% bounce off the lows posted back in the winter, with oil trading right around $50, the sector as a whole is looking fairly valued at current levels.
A new and extensive research report from Credit Suisse’s outstanding team led by John Edwards makes the case that at current yields, the energy master limited partnerships (MLPs) are trading right about the fair value mark. The analysts do think that upside potential remains, should we see oil make a move to the $60 range. They also note the MLPs trade at a discount to other energy subsectors.
Six top high-yielding MLPs with the likelihood of keeping their distributions intact are offering investors good de-risked returns. These three look especially appealing now.
Energy Transfer Partners
This stock is still offering investors a top quality distribution and entry point. Energy Transfer Partners L.P. (NYSE: ETP) currently owns and operates approximately 35,000 miles of natural gas and natural gas liquids (NGLs) pipelines. It also owns 100% of Panhandle Eastern Pipe Line (the successor of Southern Union Company) and a 70% interest in Lone Star NGL, a joint venture that owns and operates natural gas liquids storage, fractionation and transportation assets.
Last November, Energy Transfer Partners and Sunoco announced the dropdown to Sunoco of the remaining 68.42% interest in Sunoco LLC and 100% interest in the legacy Sunoco retail business for approximately $2.226 billion. Sunoco is expected to pay to Energy Transfer Partners approximately $2.2 billion in cash (including the expected value of working capital) and also will issue approximately 5.7 million common units valued at approximately $194 million. This completes the $5.7 billion total retail business dropdown in just over a year.
Energy Transfer shareholders receive a huge 10.48% distribution. The consensus price target is $40.27. Shares closed Wednesday at $40.26.
Enbridge Energy Partners
This is one stock that could be a consistent winner for investors in the years to come. Enbridge Energy Partners L.P. (NYSE: EEP) owns and operates a diversified portfolio of crude oil and, through its interests in Midcoast Operating, natural gas transportation systems in the United States. Its principal crude oil system is the largest pipeline transporter of growing oil production from western Canada and the North Dakota Bakken formation. The system’s deliveries to refining centers and connected carriers in the United States account for approximately 17% of total U.S. oil imports.
The company’s Midcoast Partners natural gas gathering, treating, processing and transmission assets, which are principally located onshore in the active U.S. Mid-Continent and Gulf Coast areas, deliver approximately 2.2 billion cubic feet of natural gas daily.
Top Wall Street analysts see the distribution backed by high-quality, fee-backed assets, and some forecast a very sustainable one-time distribution coverage through this year.
Enbridge investors receive a 10.31% distribution. The consensus price objective is $22.45. Shares closed Tuesday at $22.61.
This company has hit our insider buying screens 15 times since the beginning of the year. Summit Midstream Partners L.P. (NYSE: SMLP) focuses on owning, developing and operating midstream energy infrastructure assets primarily shale formations, in North America. The company provides natural gas gathering, treating and processing services pursuant to primarily long-term and fee-based gathering and processing agreements with customers and counterparties in five unconventional resource basins.
Since going public in 2012, the company has continued increasing its distribution by 44% as the result of a number of acquisitions and investments that grew its footprint across most of the major shale plays. In addition, as noted, all year long the company has seen extensive insider buying that started way back at the lows in January and February.
Summit investors receive a 10.12% distribution. The consensus price target is $21.27, but shares closed at $22.72 on Wednesday.
Needless to say, a big oil sell-off like we saw last year could turn these stocks lower. However, with prices firming and looking like they can hold current levels, all these high-yielding companies look solid. While they are better suited for more aggressive income accounts, it is also important to remember that MLP distributions can contain return of capital.
Sponsored: Find a Qualified Financial Advisor
Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to 3 fiduciary financial advisors in your area in 5 minutes. Each advisor has been vetted by SmartAsset and is held to a fiduciary standard to act in your best interests. If you’re ready to be matched with local advisors that can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.