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  • Roger S. Conrad

Roger S. Conrad needs no introduction to individual and professional investors, many of whom have profited from his decades of experience uncovering the best dividend-paying stocks for accumulating sustainable wealth.

Roger built his reputation with Utility Forecaster, a publication he founded more than 20 years ago that The Hulbert Financial Digest routinely ranked as one of the best investment newsletters. He’s also a sought-after expert on master limited partnerships (MLP) and former Canadian royalty trusts.

In April 2013, Roger reunited with his long-time friend and colleague, Elliott Gue, becoming co-editor of Energy & Income Advisor, a semimonthly online newsletter that’s dedicated to uncovering the most profitable opportunities in the energy sector.

Although the masthead may have changed, readers can count on Roger to deliver the same high-quality analysis and rational assessment of the best dividend-paying utilities, MLPs and dividend-paying Canadian energy names.

Articles

Canada and MLPs: Time to Buy

In this issue of Energy & Income Advisor:

1 | We offer our outlook for the ongoing recovery in Canada’s long-suffering energy patch and the emerging favorable impact of expanding takeaway transportation capacity for natural gas and natural gas liquids (NGLs), as well as oil.

2 | We look at prospects for our favorite Canadian exploration and production companies, as well as oil and natural gas midstream, and we offer an addition to our Focus List.

3 | Per our July 19, 2018 Alert, we view as very bullish for the entire MLP sector this week’s clarification of a previous Federal Energy Regulatory Commission proposal on treatment of tax items in pipeline rates. We see a “table pounding buy opportunity” for readers who are light on our favored MLPs:

Canada’s Landlocked Energy Is Finding a Market

Surging US energy production from shale formations has been the bane of Canadian energy producers for more than a decade.

The proof is in the prices. Western Canada Select crude oil recently sold for $26 less per barrel than the WTI US benchmark, and that differential has been as wide as $40 in recent years. Canadian natural gas at the AECO hub has fetched less than $1 per thousand cubic feet for long stretches and today is barely one-third the benchmark price at Henry Hub in Texas.

WCS’ heavier oil mix accounts for some of its discount. But transportation constraints are by far the biggest contributor. And the more the US pumps, the more Canadian oil and gas is crowded off North American pipelines, rails and trucking networks.

Earnings Reporting Season Raises Risk

Our EIA Endangered Dividends List highlights companies in our coverage universe where dividends are at elevated risk of being cut for one or more of the following reasons:

  • Cash flow coverage of distributions is inadequate.
  • Elevated debt levels with imminent refinancing needs.
  • Revenue pressure triggered by weakness for at least one key asset.
  • Inability to access the equity market on favorable terms to fund capital spending, forcing management to utilize more internally generated cash flow.
  • Exposure to volatility in commodity margins from either rising or falling prices of raw materials.
  • Aggressive general partners anxious to buy in limited partners’ cash flows at discounted prices.
  • Regulatory reversals.
  • Expiring contracts with little hope for renewals at comparable rates.

Most of the companies on our list suffer from more than one of these afflictions.

Oil Prices Lead an International Renaissance

Despite talk of a trade war, an OPEC-Plus agreement to boost oil production starting this summer and a rally in the US dollar, Brent oil prices ended the second quarter just under $80/bbl, the highest level since late 2014.

Even better, energy stocks were the top-performer in the S&P 500 for the second quarter with the S&P 500 surging 13.5% compared to a gain of just 3.4% for the S&P 500.

Over the past few years, oil prices and energy stocks have experienced numerous false dawns when investor attempted to call a bottom only to get burned as it became clear supply and demand fundamentals for oil remained weak.

We continue to believe this move is for real and, unlike most rallies over the past few years, it’s supported by real improvements in fundamentals. And, ironically, the OPEC-Plus agreement to boost output in late June may be the most bullish development for the energy patch in more than 4 years.

However, dangerous abound due to rapid changes underway in the global energy patch and it remains important to be selective.

Endangered Dividends List

Energy & Income Advisor sifts through literally hundreds of energy companies from around the world to separate the best from the rest. You can check out key metrics for each along with our comments and advice in the tables under the “Portfolios” tab on the EIA website.

The current issue features an updated look at the stocks we cover. Unfortunately, we found a large number of companies we track are still at risk to dividend cuts, along with a handful that are genuine bankruptcy risks.

Many of these weaklings have already cut their distributions at least once since oil prices peaked in mid-2014. As a result, they trade at much lower levels than just a few years ago.

In an unforgiving market like this one for energy stocks and particularly MLPs, however, another cut would still set off a selling wave. And that’s at the same time stronger companies that have taken their lumps are making gains.

The upshot is we want to avoid at risk dividends now as much as ever. To provide an early warning system, we’re initiating ourEnergy & Income Advisor Endangered Dividends List with the 16 companies in our table.

Subscribe today to receive a sample issue of EIA
  • Live Chat with

    Elliott and Roger on May. 30, 2019

  • Portfolios & Ratings

    • Model Portfolios

      Balanced portfolios of energy stocks for aggressive and conservative investors.

    • Coverage Universe

      Our take on more than 50 energy-related equities, from upstream to downstream and everything in between.

    • MLP Ratings

      Our assessment of every energy-related master limited partnership.

    • International Coverage Universe

      Roger Conrad’s coverage of more than 70 dividend-paying energy names.

    Experts

    • Elliott H. Gue

      Founder and Chief Analyst: Capitalist Times and Energy & Income Advisor

    • Roger S. Conrad

      Founder and Chief Analyst: Capitalist Times and Energy & Income Advisor