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By Siraj Sarwar

The investment world currently offers a low-yield environment as a result of the Fed's continuing near zero rate interest policy. Many investors have abandoned 10-year U.S. Treasury bonds for other income-generating assets in light of their current low yields. In response, many securities, including corporate bonds, utility stocks and real estate investment trusts (REIT) have recently offered scanty yields, well below the levels that they historically have normally offered.

Amidst all this, in the current financial environment, energy related Master Limited Partnerships offer substantially higher yields than many other investments. In addition to the higher yields of energy-related MLPs, they receive favorable tax treatment. This treatment is extended so long as they qualify by obtaining at least 90% of all income from the production and transportation of energy-related commodities.

In this article, I pick three MLPs with a dividend yield over 5%. Over the years, these MLPs have shown strong revenue and earnings growth. Moreover, all three partnerships have been generating massive earnings year over a year and quarter over a quarter. These are Alliance Resource Partners (NASDAQ:ARLP), Buckeye Partners, L.P. (NYSE:BPL) and Kinder Morgan Partners (NYSE:KMP).

KMP Dividend Chart

KMP Dividend data by YCharts

Alliance Resource Partners, L.P. is a producer and marketer of steam coal to United States utilities and industrial users. Alliance is America's first publicly traded master limited partnership engaged in the production and marketing of coal, started mining operations in 1971. Alliance Partners has a long history of dividend hikes on a quarter over a quarter basis.

Recently, the partnership announced an increase of 2.8% in its quarterly dividends. At present, Alliance Resource Partners offers one of best quarterly dividends of $1.17 per/unit. For the full year of 2012, Kinder Morgan has paid $4.43 per unit, representing an increase of 11.87% over the previous year's dividend.

How Safe Is The Dividend?

ARLP Revenue Annual Chart

ARLP Revenue Annual data by YCharts

Over the past five years, the partnership has shown exceptional growth in revenues. As shown in the above chart, the partnership was able to grow revenues by nearly 75.89%. Since 2009, Alliance partners managed to increase revenues from $1.23 million to $2.03 million by the end of 2012.

The partnership has a low cost business model which led it to achieve massive income. Over the past few years, it has been able to enhance profit margins. In 2009, the partnership's net profit margin stood at 10.68%, which increased to 27.74% at the end of 2012. As shown in the above chart, over past five years, Alliance Partners has been able to increase its net profit margin by 46.48%.

Furthermore, over the years, it has shown strong cash flows. Operating cash flows are on the rise and stretched to $556 million at the end of 2012. Over the past five years, it has been able to boost cash flows from operations by nearly $112.9%. Additionally, its free cash flows are also demonstrating similar results. In the past five years, free cash flows expanded from $55 million to $131 million at present.

The Alliance team also made significant operational progress in order to create value for its shareholders. During 2012, it enhanced its Illinois Basin asset portfolio with the acquisition of the Onton mine and completed its Northern Appalachian mine development. The partnership has further strengthened its already solid long-term sales contract book by securing new commitments to deliver approximately 31.7 million tons of coal through 2018.

Buckeye Partners, L.P. owns and operates refined petroleum products pipeline systems in the United States. The partnership also owns around 100 liquid petroleum products terminals with a combined storage capacity of above 70 million barrels.

Buckeye has a long history of dividend hikes on a quarter over a quarter basis. At present, Buckeye Partners offers one of best quarterly dividends of $1.03 per/unit. For the full year of 2012, the partnership has paid $4.15 per unit, yielding at 7.01%.

How Safe Is The Dividend?

BPL Revenue Annual Chart

BPL Revenue Annual data by YCharts

Over the past five years, the partnership has shown exceptional growth in revenues. As shown in the above chart, the partnership was able to grow revenues by nearly 129.7%. Since 2009, Buckeye Partners managed to increase revenues from $1.7 million to $4.3 million by the end of 2012.

Subsequently, over the years, it has been able to increase earnings at a massive pace. Since 2009, the partnership's net profit was standing at $141 million which increased to $457 million at the end of 2012. As shown in the above chart, over past five years, the Partnership has been able to increase its net profit by nearly 755%.

Furthermore, over the years, it has shown strong cash flows. Operating cash flows are on the rise and stretched to $442 million at the end of 2012. Over the past five years, it has been able to boost cash flows from operations by nearly $111.8%. Additionally, its free cash flows are also demonstrating similar results. In the past five years, free cash flows expanded from a negative $55 million to a positive $110 million at present.

The partnership continues to make progress on its expansion at BORCO by placing into service 775,000 barrels of refined product storage capacity. In addition, the partnership will place 1.6 million barrels of fully leased capacity into service by the end of Q1 of 2013. This will further increase BORCO's storage capacity to 24.9 million barrels by the end of the first quarter. With these initiatives, I believe Buckeye is a safe long term pick for dividend investors.

Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, L.P. is a pipeline transportation and energy storage company in United States. Kinder Morgan owns and operates a portfolio of energy transportation and storage assets. Kinder Morgan has a long history of dividend hikes on a quarter over a quarter basis.

Recently, the partnership announced an increase of 11% in its quarterly dividends. At present, KMP offers one of best quarterly dividends of $1.29. For the full year of 2012, Kinder Morgan has paid $4.98 per unit, representing an increase of 8% over the previous year dividend of $4.61 per/unit.

How Safe Is The Dividend?

The partnership has been showing exceptional revenue growth over the years. Since 2010, the partnership has been able to stretch its revenue at a massive pace of 7.3%, reflecting an increase of $1 billion. Based on Ycharts, Kinder Morgan had an exceptionally strong third and fourth quarter. The partnership has been able to increase revenue by 41%.

At the end of 2012, all of the partnership's five business segments reported higher results relative to the prior year. The partnership has generated $4.384 billion in segment earnings before DD&A and certain items, reflecting an increase of 20%. By the end of 2013, Kinder Morgan has been projected to generate $5.4 billion in segment earnings before DD&A and certain items.

Furthermore, KMP's distributable cash flow has been growing at a massive pace. The partnership's distributable cash flows reflect an increase of 17% over the previous year. For the full year of 2012, the partnership's Discounted Caah Flow [DCF] stands at $1.78 billion compared to $1.53 billion in 2011. In addition, for 2013, the partnership is expecting to generate $30 million in excess of targeted distributions of $2 billion. It seeks to increase distributions to 5.28 per/unit by the end of 2013.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

Business relationship disclosure: EfsInvestment is a team of analysts. This article was written by Siraj Sarwar, one of our equity researchers. We did not receive compensation for this article (other than from Seeking Alpha), and we have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.