Master limited partnerships - MLPs - are a type of stock often chosen for high distribution yields. What an MLP pays investors is not officially a dividend, but is a proportional share of a partnership's profits or free cash flow. The majority of MLPs are involved in energy production or transport and the companies may be involved in oil or gas production, coal mining, oil and gas pipelines or shipping.
Here is a list of six MLP stocks with yields at or near the top of the MLP pack, with my special covered call premiums to bolster returns.
Cheniere Energy Partners L.P. (NYSE: CQP $16.20) operates a natural gas receiving and distribution terminal in Louisiana. The current 42.5 cents quarterly distribution rate results in a current yield near 10.5%. The payout rate has been in effect since the second quarter of 2007. If you like the stock down here and want a nice quarterly return, write the March 17 calls at $.75 and grab an additional 4.62% premium. Between that and the dividend, if the stock does not move you make 7.22% for the quarter, and 9.4% if you lose it at $17.
Ferrellgas Partners, L.P. (NYSE: FGP $20.83) is a propane distributor with operations and customers in all 50 states. The quarterly distribution rate of 50 cents per share has been in effect for over 16 years. The current stock yield is 9%. Try and grab $.80 for the May 22.50 calls; if you lose it in 6 months you make 12.5% if you include 6 months of dividends.
Niska Gas Storage Partners LLC (NYSE: NKA $9.60) operates natural gas storage facilities. This MLP went public about one year ago and is currently paying a 35 cents per quarter distribution, producing a stock yield of 14.2% percent at the current share price. The April 10 strike is attractive as well, with a $.50 premium. At just shy of a 15% return in 5 months between the dividend and premium, this one looks like a no-brainer.
BreitBurn Energy Partners L.P. (Nasdaq: BBEP $17.62) is an oil and gas development and production MLP. The distribution rate of this stock fluctuates with the prices of oil and gas. The most recent 43.5 cents per share distribution puts the stock yield at around 10%. I am going to be bold here and write the March 17.50. Try and sit on the offer and get the $1.00 premium because you will be giving back 12 cents or so from the current stock price. It's ok, the 5% premium is nice for 4 months, plus 3.3% in dividends. Take that 8.3% on your money for 4 months all day long.
Inergy L.P. (NYSE: NRGY $23.91) is involved in both retail propane distribution and natural gas midstream services. Historically, this company has increased the distribution every quarter. In 2011, the distribution rate has leveled, and is now paying 11.8%. Grab a $1.00 for the April 25 strike, a 4.2% premium. With the 5 months of dividend included, if the stock can get that high, enjoy a 13.61% return on your money.
Penn Virginia Resource Partners L.P. (NYSE: PVR $25.07) is a coal mining MLP. The stock has a history of annual increases for the quarterly distribution and the most recent 50 cents per share payout puts the stock yield at 8%. Judging by its indecisive chart, let's write the May 25 strike, give up the 7 cents or so, and take in $1.75 in premium (6.65%). That and half a year's dividend gets you 10% for 6 months; let's not get greedy.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.