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Barclays' Downgrades A Slew Of MLPs

The following information was gathered from the (no cost) MarketBeat ratings newsletter of 1-11-16:

American Midstream Partners LP (NYSE:AMID) was downgraded by analysts at Barclays from an "overweight" rating to an "equal weight" rating. They now have a $10.00 price target on the stock, down previously from $13.00. 20.8% upside from the previous close of $8.28.
Arc Logistics Partners LP (NYSE:ARCX) was downgraded by analysts at Barclays from an "overweight" rating to an "equal weight" rating. They now have a $15.00 price target on the stock, down previously from $21.00. 18.9% upside from the previous close of $12.62.
Atmos Energy Co. (NYSE:ATO) was downgraded by analysts at Barclays from an "equal weight" rating to an "underweight" rating. They now have a $63.00 price target on the stock, up previously from $55.00. 1.2% upside from the previous close of $62.26.
Dynagas LNG Partners LP (NYSE:DLNG) was downgraded by analysts at Barclays from an "overweight" rating to an "underweight" rating. Previous closing price of $9.06.
EnLink Midstream Partners LP (NYSE:ENLK) was downgraded by analysts at Barclays from an "overweight" rating to an "underweight" rating. They now have a $18.00 price target on the stock, up previously from $17.00. 26.1% upside from the previous close of $14.28. (Note - I received a note from EnLink that "Barclays lowered ENLK's weighting from Overweight to Equal Weight -not underweight." This update is a copy and paste of data from MarketBeat. If they posted bad data - I echoed the bad data.)
StealthGas Inc. (NASDAQ:GASS) was downgraded by analysts at Barclays from an "overweight" rating to an "equal weight" rating. They now have a $5.00 price target on the stock, down previously from $8.00. 73.0% upside from the previous close of $2.89.
GasLog Partners LP (NYSE:GLOP) was downgraded by analysts at Barclays from an "overweight" rating to an "equal weight" rating. They now have a $15.00 price target on the stock, down previously from $26.00. 16.2% upside from the previous close of $12.91.
Green Plains Partners LP (NASDAQ:GPP) was downgraded by analysts at Barclays from an "overweight" rating to an "equal weight" rating. They now have a $17.00 price target on the stock, down previously from $20.00. 13.3% upside from the previous close of $15.00.
JP Energy Partners LP (NYSE:JPEP) was downgraded by analysts at Barclays from an "overweight" rating to an "equal weight" rating. They now have a $6.00 price target on the stock, down previously from $9.00. 20.0% upside from the previous close of $5.00.
KNOT Offshore Partners LP (NYSE:KNOP) was downgraded by analysts at Barclays from an "overweight" rating to an "equal weight" rating. They now have a $16.00 price target on the stock, down previously from $22.00. 15.3% upside from the previous close of $13.88.
Plains All American Pipeline, L.P. (NYSE:PAA) was downgraded by analysts at Barclays from an "overweight" rating to an "equal weight" rating. They now have a $25.00 price target on the stock, down previously from $39.00. 13.8% upside from the previous close of $21.96.
PBF Logistics LP (NYSE:PBFX) was downgraded by analysts at Barclays from an "overweight" rating to an "equal weight" rating. They now have a $24.00 price target on the stock, down previously from $28.00. 17.9% upside from the previous close of $20.35.
Rose Rock Midstream LP (NYSE:RRMS) was downgraded by analysts at Barclays from an "overweight" rating to an "equal weight" rating. They now have a $16.00 price target on the stock, down previously from $36.00. 26.4% upside from the previous close of $12.66.
Seaspan Co. (NYSE:SSW) was downgraded by analysts at Barclays from an "overweight" rating to an "equal weight" rating. They now have a $16.00 price target on the stock, down previously from $25.00. 9.4% upside from the previous close of $14.63.
Southwestern Energy Company (NYSE:SWN) was downgraded by analysts at Barclays from an "overweight" rating to an "equal weight" rating. They now have a $7.00 price target on the stock, down previously from $9.00. 0.7% upside from the previous close of $6.95.
SunCoke Energy Partners LP (NYSE:SXCP) was downgraded by analysts at Barclays from an "equal weight" rating to an "underweight" rating. They now have a $7.00 price target on the stock, down previously from $20.00. 10.9% upside from the previous close of $6.31.
Tallgrass Energy Partners LP (TEP) was downgraded by analysts at Barclays from an "overweight" rating to an "equal weight" rating. They now have a $42.00 price target on the stock, down previously from $56.00. 9.1% upside from the previous close of $38.48.
USA Compression Partners LP (NYSE:USAC) was downgraded by analysts at Barclays from an "equal weight" rating to an "underweight" rating. They now have a $11.00 price target on the stock, down previously from $18.00. 0.8% downside from the previous close of $11.09.
Western Refining Logistics LP (NYSE:WNRL) was downgraded by analysts at Barclays from an "overweight" rating to an "equal weight" rating. They now have a $28.00 price target on the stock, down previously from $33.00. 15.0% upside from the previous close of $24.35.
WPX Energy Inc (NYSE:WPX) was downgraded by analysts at Barclays from an "equal weight" rating to an "underweight" rating. They now have a $5.00 price target on the stock, down previously from $8.00. 4.8% downside from the previous close of $5.25.

My Comment: It might have been a shorter list if they noted the MLPs they did not downgrade. I note the absence of EPD, MMP and SEP from the large cap names - and MPLX, PSXP, SHLX and TLLP from the refinery logistic names. (I own all of that list with the exception of SEP - so I am 'talking my own book' with the comment. But I am also displaying 'where my mind is at' - which could be something you folks want to know.)

At the current yield 8.44% and what looks to be a strong uptrend if DCF/unit that should continue the 10% distribution growth trend, Genesis Energy LP (NYSE:GEL) looks very attractive to those who already who a conservative MLP portfolio. GEL has poor historical DCF projection accuracy and a non-investment grade credit rating. It is risky. That attribute should be reflected in your weighting. I also own units in GEL.

Genesis also had publicly traded debt - bonds with 2022, 2023 and 2024 maturities that sell at yields over 9%. A one percent portfolio weight in these bonds looks attractive to me. Folks who know MLPs should use that knowledge to buy bonds, too - if they are not over weight the sector. (There are probably more attractive bond opportunities out there - to those doing the due diligence. I am lacking the time to do so.)

I can add that Buckeye Partners, L.P. (NYSE:BPL) is a mid-quality large cap MLP that is attractive at an 8.05% yield and a four-ish distribution CAGR. EBITDA is 67% from 'refined product' pipelines - a good attribute. The debt metrics are just OK - but they are not headed downward at the same speed as the rest of the sector. It is a decent option for those with existing quality MLP portfolios - and want to be a yield hog.

Am I giving you a buy list because I am calling a bottom? NO! I am not calling a bottom. (We are kinda close to it.) I do want you to be prepped with a buy list. And I would like you to do the due diligence that gives you the confidence to buy 'at some point in time'. Put in difference and better words -- I want you to have the confidence to make small purchases, in predominantly (but not exclusively) the quality MLPs, at multiple points in time over the next 12 months.

I have the impression (or theory) that retail investors can be harmed if the bury their heads in the ground and do nothing. You can fall into inactivity mode and can't get up. The lower quality MLPs have fallen more in price than the quality names. But some of the biggest losers are becoming broken stocks with distribution cuts upcoming. I have the impression that many will still be well served trading out of lower quality and into higher quality. I would not wait till 2017 - or when the dust could eventually clear - to decide on what to do. I would decide on a plan slowly - and implement slowly. I would still be headed towards doing something.

All this advice in context sensitive - and there is more context than I can list. But let me give you two last examples. (1) If you started this MLP downfall with more than a 20% MLP weighting, then I would let the market correct that over allocation. But if I started the downfall with 10% or less, I would be upgrading my portfolio quality while coming close to sustaining that 10% weighting. (2) There are going to be many 'five year distribution CAGR projection' downgrades after the upcoming earnings releases. I would not abandon faith in CAGRs just because they are periodically overly flakey numbers. I will still invest with 'CAGR awareness'. Without a good CAGR projection - one does not know the fair value of anything. But even someone who strongly believes in that last statement will have to admit that there are times when there are "no good CAGR projections" (in other words - no earnings visibility) in some sectors.