One of the best investing strategies available has nothing to do with popular growth stocks or the mega-cap technology names. This dividend strategy not only provides investors with above-average income, but as we’ll see, it also has the ability to produce significant price appreciation. I’m referring to Master Limited Partnerships (MLPs).
MLPs are different than other traditional investment structures; they are partnerships. A general partner is responsible for running the MLP, and individual investors serve as the limited partners. MLPs must pay their profits directly to shareholders and pay much bigger dividends because they pay no tax. The income generated from the MLP is allocated amongst all partners in proportion to their ownership interest.
Advantages of MLP Investing
Due to their advantageous qualities, this type of high-yield, high-quality investment vehicle has been providing investors with favorable returns for many years. There are countless and relatively unknown MLPs that have consistently raised their dividends over a long timeframe, providing investors with high returns. MLPs do not pay income taxes and trade on major stock exchanges.
Relative to dividend-paying stocks, MLPs are largely ignored by the financial media. MLPs are able to sidestep the IRS and pass their earnings directly to shareholders making them the ideal investment for individual investors.
Investing in MLPs comes with a special tax benefit for MLP dividends which are referred to as distributions. The IRS considers 80-90% of MLP distributions as a
return of capital, which means investors can defer taxes on their gains for many years until they sell their shares. MLPs have attracted a diverse set of companies in many industries due to their favorable tax treatment.
Investing in companies that have a history of raising dividends can be a very reliable indicator of future earnings growth. Corporate directors know far better than anyone else the details and financial condition of their companies, including the outlook for future earnings growth. Management will only raise dividends if they have every reason to believe that future earnings growth will be able to sustain higher dividend payouts. A steady trend of rising dividends can alert investors to healthy, growing businesses.
Top-Performing MLP Hits 52-Week High
We’re going to focus on an outperforming MLP that has consistently raised dividends. This MLP is ranked favorably by our Zacks Style Scores, with a top ‘A’ mark in our Value category, and a second-best ‘B’ rating in our Growth category, paving the way for an overall ‘A’ VGM score. It’s a company that many of our readers are likely familiar with in the energy space.
SUN Quick Quote SUN - Free Report) is a Master Limited Partnership that distributes motor fuel to approximately 10,000 convenience stores, independent dealers, commercial customers, and distributors in more than 30 U.S. states. Headquartered in Dallas, TX, Sunoco also leases real estate properties and operates terminal facilities on the Hawaiian Islands.
Sunoco’s distribution networks reflect a strong business and sustainable cash flows which will continue to drive the share price. Sunoco is among the largest motor fuel distributors in the United States.
Currently ranked a Zacks #3 (Hold), Sunoco is a dividend achiever, having increased its dividend steadily for more than a decade. The company pays a dividend of $3.37/share (7.04%). Trading at a relatively undervalued 11.31 forward P/E, SUN stock is appealing as the share price has broken out to 52-week highs. SUN shares are up more than 16% year-to-date. Below I’ve shown a longer-term chart, and we can see the steady upward trend off the pandemic lows.
Image Source: StockCharts
As we look ahead to the fourth quarter, analysts covering SUN have increased their earnings estimates by 66.67% in the past 60 days. The Q4 Zacks Consensus Estimate now stands at $1.05/share, reflecting potential growth of 150% relative to the same quarter last year.
Image Source: Zacks Investment Research
It’s clear that MLP investing is something that every individual investor should consider. The steady stream of income along with the potential for price appreciation warrant a closer look into adding MLPs to your portfolio mix.
Disclaimer: Sunoco is a long-term holding within the Zacks Income Investor portfolio.