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Investing Topics: Natural Gas

Paradigm Shift in MLP Land

Big changes are afoot in the midstream segment. Many master limited partnerships appear to have taken Enterprise Products Partners LP’s lead and shifted their focus to building distribution coverage and reducing equity. We explore which names will be able to make this transition with relative ease and which names face more of a slog to put themselves on a path to sustainability.

Deal Flow Accelerates In Cotton Valley And Haynesville Shale

Enterprise Products Partners LP’s acquisition of Azure Midstream Partners LP’s gas-gathering and -processing assets marked the latest in a series of deals involving assets in the resurgent Haynesville Shale and the emerging Cotton Valley play. We explore what it all means and whether it’s worth placing a bet.

Focus List Update And Noteworthy Portfolio Developments

Since its reinstatement in early December 2016, the Energy & Income Advisor Focus List has generated an average total return of 9.6 percent, outperforming the S&P 500 Energy Index’s average loss of 4.5 percent over an equivalent holding period. We dig into fourth-quarter results from companies on our Focus List and in our Model Portfolios.

 

Naturally Volatile

Much of the recent upside in natural-gas prices reflects the unusually hot summer weather, expectations for a cold winter and modest supply growth, as oil and gas producers have curbed their drilling and completion activity in prolific US shale plays. However, our intermediate- to long-term outlooks for gas supply and demand remain unchanged–nor has our investment strategy.

We prefer to buy shares of high-quality producers that have strong balance sheets and high-quality acreage in leading basins–names that will take market share over the long term.

However, timing is a critical component of our strategy.

Investors should buy when gas prices inevitably tumble because of excess production and an unusually warm winter–a confluence of events that has occurred on several occasions over the past decade. You might also consider taking smaller positions in some higher-beta names that we wouldn’t regard as the best long-term holdings.

It’s equally important to take some profits off the table when natural-gas prices rip higher. The time for such a move is imminent.

Investors should also maintain exposure to well-positioned midstream operators that stand to benefit from accelerating production growth in low-cost basins. With natural-gas demand expect to climb in coming years and the US boasting a world-class resource base, the potential volumetric growth is truly impressive.

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    Elliott and Roger on Nov. 30, 2017

  • Portfolios & Ratings

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      Balanced portfolios of energy stocks for aggressive and conservative investors.

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      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.

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

    Experts

    • Roger S. Conrad

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

    • Elliott H. Gue

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

    • Peter Staas

      Managing Editor: Capitalist Times and Energy & Income Advisor