Who says the bond market is washed out? Certainly not Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ).
The company’s record $49 billion bond sale has not only locked in financing for its $130 billion buyout of Vodafone Plc’s (London: VOD, NYSE: VOD) minority stake in Verizon Wireless. But it was actually doubled, eliminating the need to raise funds in Europe.
Dominion Resources (NYSE: D) shares hit an all-time high this week. The catalyst: A proposed spin off of the company’s natural gas assets into a master limited partnership (MLP), with an initial public offering in the second quarter of 2014.
When the research firm Hedgeye came out with a report blasting a long-time favorite of mine—Kinder Morgan Energy Partners (NYSE: KMP)—my first question was what have they seen that I have not to date? Is there something most of us who research this master limited partnership have overlooked, some critical Achilles heel that could in Hedgeye’s words make Kinder and related companies a “house of cards?”
Similarly, I wondered why Hedgeye had chosen to pick on Kinder, rather than a master limited partnership (MLP) with more obvious troubles such as NuStar Energy (NYSE: NS). The latter, for example, has failed to cover its distribution with distributable cash flow (DCF) for several quarters now, even leaving aside its extremely aggressive capital spending.
Investors shouldn’t automatically assume that dividend-paying equities are inherently safer than tech stocks or other cyclical fare. When an income-oriented stock cuts or eliminates its dividend, investors not only suffer a diminution of income but also a significant loss of principal during the subsequent selloff. Understanding a company’s underlying business and its growth prospects are essential to separating the winners from the losers.
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