It’s Raining Dividends in the Energy Sector

As more companies are increasing their dividends to reward shareholders, the energy sector seems to be near the top.  As I always do, I have listed the energy companies with recent dividend increases with a Bullish or better outlook.  Many of the listed energy companies have additional news included that is relevant to why these stocks are portfolio candidates.

The board of directors of Magellan Midstream Partners, L.P. (MMP) has significantly increased the partnership’s quarterly cash distribution to 94.25 cents per unit for the period April 1 through June 30, 2012, representing the 41stdistribution increase since its initial public offering in 2001.  The second-quarter 2012 distribution is 20% higher than the second-quarter 2011 distribution of 78.5 cents per unit and represents a 12% increase over the first-quarter 2012 distribution of 84 cents.  Looking ahead, MMP is now targeting distributions for full-year 2012 that are 18% higher than 2011, with the goal of raising distributions an additional 10% for 2013 as our future results are expected to benefit from additional growth projects coming online.

Bottom line:  MMP has a dividend yield of 4.82% with a 5-year average dividend growth rate of 8.87%. MMP has an equity summary score of 7.1 out of 10 for a Bullish outlook.

Oil refinery operator Marathon Petroleum (MPC) raised the octane on its quarterly dividend payment by 40% to 35 cents per share. The new payout will be made on Sept. 10 to shareholders of record as of Aug. 16.  MPC is pursuing a spin out of its pipeline and logistics business, MPLX LP. The company, which was formed in March by Marathon Petroleum, filed plans in July for an offering of roughly $365 million of its common units to raise funds for expansion and other purposes.  According to the filing, Marathon Petroleum (MPC) intends for MPLX to be the primary growth vehicle for the petroleum refiner and marketer’s midstream business.  Marathon is growing its retail business. Speedway acquired 87 GasAmerica locations during the second quarter and earlier this month completed the acquisition of 10 Road Ranger locations.

Bottom line:  MPC has a dividend yield of 2.95%. MMP has an equity summary score of 9.8 out of 10 for a VERY Bullish outlook.

Vanguard Natural Resources, LLC (VNR) announced that its board of directors has declared a cash distribution attributable to the second quarter of 2012 of $0.60 per unit ($2.40 on an annual basis) payable on August 14, 2012 to unitholders of record on August 7, 2012. This represents an approximate 4.3% distribution increase from the second quarter of 2011 and a 1.3% distribution increase from the first quarter of 2012.  VNR reported that on June 29, 2012 it consummated the previously announced acquisition of natural gas and liquids assets from Antero Resources for an adjusted purchase price of $434.4 million, subject to customary final post-closing adjustments. The effective date of the acquisition is April 1, 2012 with the transaction being immediately accretive to distributable cash flow.

Bottom line:  VNC has a dividend yield of 8.39%. MMP has an equity summary score of 7.2 out of 10 for a Bullish outlook.