Good Yield Opportunities Within The Energy Sector

Includes: BP, MMLP
by: Bret Jensen

Yesterday I outlined the reasons I was using the recent decline in high yield sectors caused by rising interest rates to up my allocation within my income portfolio focused on the energy sector (I, II). As the third and final part of that theme I want to highlight two more high yielders within the energy sector that are on my shopping list to add to my established positions during the next decline in the market.

Martin Midstream Partners L.P (NASDAQ:MMLP) collects, transports, stores and markets petroleum products and by-products in the Gulf Coast region. The company owns or operates 27 marine shore based terminal facilities and 12 specialty terminal facilities among other assets. I first wrote about this limited partnership in November when it was trading some $15 a share lower. The company continues to enjoy the solid revenue growth that attracted me to the shares in the first place. Revenues are expected to increase in the mid-teens both for FY2013 and FY2014.

The shares yield just under seven percent (6.9%) and Martin has incrementally and consistently raised its distribution payouts over the last decade, including right through the financial crisis. Insiders have been small but frequent buyers of MMLP in recent months. Infrastructure investment firm Alinda Capital recently agreed to acquire a 50% economic interest and 49% voting interest in the company's general partner, Martin Resource Management. This caused Raymond James to upgrade MMLP to Outperform from Market Perform as it expects cash flow could improve materially as the result of asset dropdowns, potential acquisitions and other opportunities.

BP plc (NYSE:BP) is an integrated oil giant mainly known for the massive gulf oil spill in 2010 in recent years that has cost it tens of billions of dollars. Although still mired in some remaining litigation as a result of that spill, it is mostly through its ordeal. The company has sold non-strategic overseas assets in recent years both to become a more focused enterprise and also to raise funds to pay off damage, litigation and regulatory claims.

BP pays a much higher yield (5.1%) than its major American brethren like Chevron (NYSE:CVX) and Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) who pay dividends of 3.3% and 2.9%, respectively. BP is cheap at just over book value and under 8x this year's earnings. After falling some 9% this fiscal year, revenues should improve in 2014 with flat sales expected before positive revenue gains in 2015 and beyond. The company is a major player in Iraq where production is growing smartly and is close to signing a significant deal in Kirkuk. The median price target by the 8 analysts who cover the stock is just north of $49 a share, ~20% above the current stock price.

Disclosure: I am long BP, MMLP. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.