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Investing Topics: Master Limited Partnerships

Focus on Strategy

By Roger S. Conrad on Mar. 10, 2016
Utilities take the crown as the S&P 500’s top-performing sector this year, with the group generating a total return of 10.5 percent. Much of this strength reflects the appeal of utilities’ resilient cash flow and generous dividends, qualities that make the sector a good place for investors to hide out in uncertain times. But every stock takes a hit in a bear market; savvy investors should bide their time and wait for valuations to improve.

M&A: Exelon and Pepco Closer to Consummating Their Union

By Roger S. Conrad on Feb. 26, 2016
The District of Columbia's Public Service Commission looks set to approve Exelon Corp's proposed takeover Pepco Holdings, if the acquirer agrees to additional terms. Investors can expect more deals to come in the utility sector--and long delays for regulatory approval.

Buckle Up for Outperformance: Four Big-Yield Utility Stocks with a Growth Kicker

By Roger S. Conrad on Feb. 10, 2016
With the US and global economies softening and credit markets tightening, a company’s relative cost of capital can determine whether it’s a winner or a loser.

Exiting at the Right Price

By Roger S. Conrad on Feb. 7, 2016
Overly aggressive guidance could land this master limited partnership in the penalty box.

In the Land of Infrastructure, Capital is King

By Roger S. Conrad on Feb. 7, 2016
With the US and global economies softening and credit markets tightening, a company’s relative cost of capital can determine whether it’s a winner or a loser.

What You Need to Know about Dominion Resources’ Acquisition of Questar Corp

By Roger S. Conrad on Feb. 1, 2016
Dominion Resources (NYSE: D) announced the utility sector’s first major takeover for this year, reaching an agreement to acquire Utah-based Questar Corp (NYSE: STR) for $25 per share, or about $4.4 billion.

A Lesson for MLP Investors from Past Selloffs

By Roger S. Conrad on Jan. 19, 2016
The utility sector's implosion in 2002 and 2003 has some important lessons for MLP investors.

New Year, Same Challenges

By Roger S. Conrad on Jan. 11, 2016
For the 39th time since 1969, the Dow Jones Utilities Average rallied in the fourth quarter. But this upside didn’t prevent the benchmark from finishing the year with a 3.1 percent loss, the index’s first negative return after a positive January since 1987. Fortunately, the primary catalyst for the loss—uncertainty about when the Federal Reserve would start raising interest rates—no longer exists. And just like the beginning of the 2004-06 tightening cycle, utility stocks have gained ground despite weakness in the broader market. But last year’s challenges remain in play for 2016. Energy prices have yet to find a bottom. Non-investment grade debt has become crushingly expensive to refinance, tightening capital markets for all but the strongest companies. Emerging markets continue to struggle. And any international currency not pegged to the US dollar find itself under pressure. The Quality Grades for the 214 essential-service companies tracked in our Utility Report Card provide insight into the spectrum of risk and help investors to avoid the riskiest names.

New Year, Time-Tested Strategy

By Roger S. Conrad on Jan. 11, 2016
By most measures, last year was a difficult time for income-seeking investors, as anticipation of the Federal Reserve’s first rate hike since 2006 weighed on sentiment toward dividend-paying stocks. Here’s our strategy for 2016.

Higher Standards

By Roger S. Conrad on Jan. 11, 2016
Our proprietary quality grades help investors to assess the spectrum of risk across the more than 200 essential-service companies covered in our Utility Report Card.

MODEL PORTFOLIOS & RATINGS

ABOUT ROGER CONRAD

Roger S. Conrad needs no introduction to individual and professional investors, many of whom have profited from his decades of experience uncovering the best dividend-paying stocks for accumulating sustainable wealth. Roger b