MLP Distribution Recap 1Q17: Still Recovering One Year After the Bottom

05/25/17 | Karyl Patredis

How many MLPs grew, maintained, or cut distributions in 1Q 2017?

Well, the first quarter of 2017 is in the rearview. Let’s check out the latest distribution data.

Below we have the quarter over quarter data. As a reminder, when I say 1Q distributions, I mean distributions that will be paid in 2Q17 as a result of what happened in 1Q.

AMZ Q/Q Fun Facts

  1. Antero Midstream (AM) won the percentage increase contest this quarter with a 7.14% bump from $0.28 to $0.30.
  2. Including AM, there were five companies that increased distributions by 5% or more: Dominion Midstream Partners (DM), Valero Energy Partners (VLP), Shell Midstream Partners (SHLX), and Phillips 66 Partners (PSXP).
  3. There were three cuts in the AMZ this quarter. Enbridge Energy Partners (EEP) cut 40% from $0.583 to $0.35 and the Williams Partners (WPZ) cut 29% from $0.85 to $0.60. The third was from Terra Nitrogen Company (TNH). Because TNH is a variable distributor, a decrease in distributions is not uncommon to investors.

AMZI Q/Q Fun Facts

  1. Of the 15 MLPs that grew distributions in the AMZI, five increased payouts by 4% or more: AM, SHLX, PSXP, EQT Midstream Partners (EQM), and Rice Midstream Partners (RMP).
  2. RMP entered the AMZI in the March 2017 rebalancing. The company increased distributions and caused the list of AMZI growers to increase from 14 last quarter to 15 this quarter.

Special note: Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) merged with Sunoco Logistics Partners (formerly SXL). Although SXL was technically the surviving entity, the company took on ETP’s name. The original ETP didn’t announce a distribution before the merger and it is not reflected in our calculations. SXL (aka new ETP) announced a distribution increase from $0.52 to $0.535. Therefore, we gave them credit for an increase. However, if you were an original ETP unitholder and are now a new ETP unitholder, your distribution post-merger technically decreased. Original ETP unitholders received 1.5 units of new ETP as a result of the merger. Original ETP unitholders were receiving a $1.055 distribution per unit beforehand. New ETP’s distribution was $0.535, so even when multiplied by 1.5, we’re still looking at only $0.8025/unit.

Next, we have the year over year data which compares 1Q 2016 and 1Q 2017. If the name was in the index in both 1Q 2016 and 1Q 2017, I compared the distributions. Please note there is survivorship bias in this method.

 AMZ and AMZI Y/Y Fun Facts

  1. Names that grew year over year:

  1. Names that maintained year over year (all names listed are in the AMZ, a * represents MLPs that are also in the AMZI):
    1. Alliance Resource Partners (ARLP)
    2. Boardwalk Pipeline Partners (BWP)*
    3. Cheniere Energy Partners (CQP)
    4. Crestwood Equity Partners (CEQP)
    5. DCP Midstream Partners (DPM)*
    6. EnLink Midstream Partners (ENLK)*
    7. Golar LNG Partners (GMLP)
    8. NGL Energy Partners (NGL)
    9. NuStar Energy (NS)*
    10. ONEOK Partners (OKS)*
    11. Suburban Propane Partners (SPH)
    12. Summit Midstream Partners (SMLP)
    13. Teekay LNG Partners (TGP)

3. Those that cut year over year were EEP, Martin Midstream Partners (MMLP), Plains All American Pipeline (PAA), and WPZ.