Martin Midstream Partners L.P. (MMLP), Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP (KMP): A High-Yielding Energy Company for Income Investors

Page 1 of 2

The midstream industry, those companies responsible for carting oil and gas to and fro, is known among dividend investors for its high-yielding investment opportunities. Many of these businesses are structured as master limited partnerships (or MLPs), a designation that requires the entity to pass its earnings through to its partners, which is where the high yields come from. The company I’m looking at today is Martin Midstream Partners L.P. (NASDAQ:MMLP) . It boasts an 8.9% yield and an annualized distribution of $3.08 per unit.

10 MLPs with Impressive Dividend YieldsThe story behind the yield
Martin Midstream Partners L.P. (NASDAQ:MMLP) is an MLP based in Kilgore, Texas. Things are going quite well for the company right now. Operating income in 2012 came in at $73.84 million, a significant increase from 2011′s $47.35 million. At the center of its business are four distinct operating segments:

Terminals and storage

Natural gas services

Sulfur services

Marine transportation services

We are accustomed to think of midstream players as pipeline operators, but many companies in the industry make a great deal of money from energy-related businesses outside of pipelines. Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP (NYSE:KMP) has its terminals and CO2 business; Enbridge Inc (USA) (NYSE:ENB) has wind and solar, etc.

From an earnings perspective, Martin’s sulfur business is its most lucrative, generating $12.5 million in net income in the fourth quarter of 2012 and $41.9 million for the full year. Its marine transportation segment is the weakest, generating a loss of $612,000 in the same quarter, though it was profitable for the full year, generating $6.75 million over the course of 12 months. I expect both of these segments to do well in the future so let’s take a closer look.

Sulfur
If there is anyone in the world who would equate the smell of rotten eggs with cash money, they most certainly work at Martin Midstream Partners L.P. (NASDAQ:MMLP). The company processes and distributes sulfur produced by Gulf Coast oil refineries. Most of it winds up in fertilizer or industrial chemicals. Martin has six sulfur-based fertilizer plants and one emulsified sulfur blending plant. It also has four sulfur prillers, which are facilities that form molten sulfur into pellets. The combined capacity of these plants is about 5,000 tons per day.

Sulfur sales have grown from 62,000 tons in 1997 to 306,000 tons in 2012. Earnings for this segment have really taken off in the last few years, climbing from $15.7 million in 2009 to $37.2 million in 2012. This trend should continue if the U.S. petrochemical industry grows the way many think it will over the course of the next few years. As it is, domestic and foreign demand for sulfur remains high.

Marine Transportation Services
Martin Midstream’s marine transportation services segment has seen better days. EBITDA has declined since reaching $22.7 million in 2010.

The partnership operates 54 inland marine tank barges, 29 inland marine push-boats, four offshore tank barges, and four offshore tugboats. It transports asphalt, fuel oil, gasoline, sulfur, and other bulk liquids around the Gulf Coast, East Coast, and the U.S. inland waterway system, which includes the Mississippi River. Martin is also active in the Caribbean, Central America, and South America .

The partnership recently engaged in two strategic deals to boost this segment. At the beginning of January, Martin Midstream announced it was acquiring Talen’s Marine & Fuel for about $47.4 million. The deal gives Martin 10 more marine terminals on the Gulf Coast as well as fueling barges and tug boats. When it was announced, the CEO of Martin Midstream’s general partner offered us this, “We expect stable and growing through-put throughout our entire marine terminal system as current forecasts show favorable activity in the Gulf of Mexico.” We’ll get to that favorable activity in just a minute.

Page 1 of 2
Comments
Insider Monkey Small Cap Strategy
Insider Monkey Small Cap Strategy

Insider Monkey beat the market by 52 percentage points in 24 months. Our beta is only 1.2 (don't click this link if beating the market isn't important to you).

Lists

On the Move: The 10 Fastest Growing Businesses in 2015

Fast Money: The 10 Highest Paying Fast Food Restaurants

Mixing It Up: The 14 Best Music Mashups of 2014

Rito Pls Buff: The 10 Least Played Champions in LoL Season 4

10 Covers of Popular Songs that are Better than the Originals

Must See TV: The 9 Most Anticipated Shows of 2015

The 15 Biggest Box Office Bombs of All Time

10 Things The World Can’t Stand About Americans

Picture Perfect: The 6 Smartphones with the Best Cameras

The 10 Best Countries To Work In the World

A Profitable Day At The Track: 5 Tips For Betting On Horses

Tearing You Apart: 6 Bad Habits That Ruin Relationships

Learning on the Job: The 6 Biggest Mistakes Parents Make

Shopaholics Rejoice: The 12 Biggest Malls in the World

Fright Night: 10 Horror Movies Based on True Stories

Mach Mania: The 10 Fastest Jets in the World

Military Heavyweights: The 10 Countries with the Most Tanks

All In: The 7 Richest Poker Players in the World

Abracadabra: The 10 Best Magicians in the World

The 10 Richest Asian Countries in the World in 2014

Eyes in the Sky: 10 Things You Need to Know About Drones

Rising Stars: The 6 Best Silicon Valley Startups

Military Muscle: The 5 Most Advanced Armies in South America

All that Glitters: The 7 Most Luxurious Jewelry Brands in the World

5 Things You Didn’t Know About ISIS but Should

Empowering Your Money: The 5 Best Energy Stocks to Invest In

The 11 Best Android Apps You Can’t Get on iOS

The 10 Most Important International Conflicts in 2014

Mood Enhancers: The 20 Most Uplifting Songs of all Time

Lover Beware: The 8 Countries that Cheat the Most

Breath of Fresh Air: The 25 Countries with the Best Air Quality on the Planet

Singles Beware: The 8 Worst Mistakes Made on First Dates

Healthy and Happy: The 10 Countries with Lowest Healthcare Costs

The 6 Best Company Team Building Activities to Build Workplace Camaraderie

Ships Ahoy: The 10 Busiest Shipping Ports in the World

10 Productivity Tips to Save You Time and Help You Do More With Less

Grab a Bite: The Most Popular Fast Food Restaurants in America

Friday Night Thirst: The 10 Most Popular Cocktails in the World

The 6 Greatest Unsolved Mysteries We May Never Figure Out

7 Useless Products You Never Should’ve Bought

The 5 Reasons Why You’re Single and Miserable

The 7 Most Addictive Foods in the World We Can’t Stop Eating (Even Though We Should)

5 Amazing Places You Can Swim with Dolphins

The Top 7 Most Livable Countries In The World

The 10 Most Expensive Baseball Cards Ever Pulled From A Pack

The 5 Easiest Second Languages to Learn for English Speakers

Silver Spoon: The 6 Richest Families in the World

The 20 Countries with the Largest Prison Populations in the World

The Top 10 Richest Actors in the World

The 10 Best Airline Stocks to Invest In Before They Fly Too High

Subscribe

Enter your email:

Delivered by FeedBurner

X

Thanks! An email with instructions is sent to !

Your email already exists in our database. Click here to go to your subscriptions

Insider Monkey returned 47.6% in its first year! Wondering How?

Download a complete edition of our newsletter for free!