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Latest Valuentum Commentary

Jan 20, 2023
Energy Pipelines: What a Difference A Few Years Have Made!
Image: Midstream energy companies have significantly improved their free cash coverage of their payouts in recent years. We’ve taken note. Source: Relevant 10-Q filings. We can hardly believe how much better things are looking for midstream pipeline companies these days, particularly as it relates to free cash flow coverage of their payouts, but also as it relates to improved financial transparency. Many midstream MLPs continue to be saddled with huge net debt positions, but what a difference a few years have made! Capital discipline is making their dividends/distributions incrementally more attractive, and we’ve taken note.
Nov 30, 2021
A New Measure of Leverage for Dividend-Growth and Income-Oriented Shareholders, One That Is Dividend-Adjusted
As more and more investors rely on company dividends for income, dividends, in our view, have become more debt-like commitments in nature, especially from the perspective of dividend-growth or income-oriented shareholders. We have rolled out a new measure of financial leverage that considers both the company’s debt and the present value of its future expected cash dividend obligations, which, in the eyes of die-hard dividend-growth or income-oriented shareholders, may be implicitly assumed to be debt-like commitments in substance. We think this leverage ratio can be used in conjunction with the Dividend Cushion ratio to gain additional insight into the dividend-paying financial health of an entity.
Oct 31, 2018
Upstream Oil Major On the Upswing
Image Source: Author’s Calculations and SEC Filings. ConocoPhillips appears poised to grow its dividend thanks to a materially healthier balance sheet and an improving free cash flow profile. Volatile energy resource pricing will always be a long-term risk to the payout, but the near term looks bright for the upstream oil major.
Sep 24, 2018
Update on 5 Top Energy Stocks: KMI, ETP, EPD, MMP, XOM
We generally like the diversification provided in the Energy Select SPDR ETF (XLE) as one way to consider exposure to the energy resource arena, but let's get the highlights on some of the most-viewed energy-related ideas on our website: Kinder Morgan, Energy Transfer Partners/Equity, Enterprise Product Partners, Magellan Midstream, and Exxon Mobil.
Sep 18, 2018
Midstreams Going C-Corp, Should SEC Disallow the Measure Distributable Cash Flow?
It’s important to differentiate the concept of enterprise free cash flow valuation and the idea of capital-market dependence. The uncertainty of the MLP business model remains, as it is clear operators are shunning the MLP business model preferring C-Corps instead. According to work from Global X Funds, now 40% of the energy infrastructure market cap consists of C-Corps, up considerably from just 15% at the end of 2014. Though many simplifications have come with implied distribution cuts, the primary reason for the rise in C-Corps across the midstream space has been the rationalizing of excess MLP valuations to enterprise free cash flow assessments. We encourage the SEC to consider disallowing the use of distributable cash flow, as it is confusing to investors.
Sep 14, 2018
Dividend Growth: Capital Preservation Remains Key
Image Shown: Since mid-June 2015, the performance of an ETF tracking the midstream MLP industry (AMLP) has collapsed while the performance of an ETF tracking the S&P 500 (SPY) industry has surged.The Valuentum dividend methodology continues to identify weeds that may overrun a beautiful garden of stocks forming your portfolio. Part of the Valuentum dividend methodology is helping to identify in advance those companies at risk of a dividend cut, as once the payment is slashed, not only is the income stream reduced but capital may be permanently impaired.
Aug 24, 2018
The Days of the MLP Model Are Numbered
We applaud Enbridge-Spectra on explaining the MLP business model with transparency. Though we think rollups could bring new capital into the MLP space, we expect the days of the MLP model are numbered. The opportunity to raise capital at yield-based pricing has been eliminated.
Aug 20, 2018
ETE-ETP Rollup and Implied Distribution Cut
We continue to believe that the MLP business model may be a goner, and the recent ETE-ETP rollup is the latest example. Though new capital may come into the space on expectations that there will be premiums in unit-for-unit rollup deals, most of the combinations are coming with implied distribution cuts.
Jul 24, 2018
FERC Clarifies MLP Tax Changes
Image shown: The prices of MLPs have collapsed since mid-June 2015 as the stock market has surged. The status quo for many MLPs looks to be restored, though that doesn’t mean MLPs are out of the woods. We continue to expect many to transition to corporates in coming years, and the idea of consolidation/buyouts may bring new investor capital to the space.
Jun 4, 2018
RE: Energy Transfer Partners: Why You Shouldn’t Worry, DEC 19, 2015
Image shown: The performance of Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) since we warned about the MLP space in mid-2015. We’ll never truly know the damage that has been caused by articles written in this spirit across the web, some articles we may not even know about. We thought it appropriate to clarify things in this response, and we’re going to continue to take the high road with everything we do. We hope you appreciate that and find tremendous value in the independent insight that our team of analysts provide.

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