As MLP glow fades a bit, Merrill offers four favorites, three new Buys

|By:, SA News Editor

Emerging Wall Street consensus is that the MLP sector may have seen its best days, and the MLP analyst team at Merrill Lynch cautions in a new report that volatility may lurk in the sector.

While Merrill believes the triple threat of increasing interest rates, volatile commodity pricing and overall MLP equity supply may combine to produce a choppy year, the firm upgrades three top names to buy to add to four top picks for 2014.

The top four: Energy Transfer Partners (ETP), whose distributable cash flow as of Sept. 30 totaled $2.3B vs. $1.3B a year earlier; MarkWest Energy (MWE), who will be able to process 3.7B cf/day in the Marcellus shale within a few years; Plains All American (PAA), a top name to buy at most Wall Street firms; and Western Refining Logistics (WNRL), which has not yet paid a distribution.

Upgraded to Buy: GLP, MMLP, TLLP.

ETFs: AMJ, AMLP, MLPG, MLPI, MLPN, MLPY, MLPL, MLPW, MLPS, YMLP, MLPA, EMLP, AMU, IMLP, MLPJ, ATMP, YMLI.