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Calumet Hikes Payout Yet Again

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Calumet Specialty Products Partners L.P. (CLMT - Free Report) – a producer of specialty hydrocarbons in North America – raised its fourth quarter 2012 cash distribution to 65 cents per unit ($2.60 per unit annualized), representing an increase of approximately 4.8% sequentially and 22.6% year over year.

Calumet Specialty Products’ announced distribution boost is in sync with its goal of delivering disciplined growth to unitholders. The partnership boasts a consistent and improving financial policy with high distribution coverage. Calumet Specialty Products’ new distribution is payable on February 14 to unitholders of record as on February 4, 2013.

Indianapolis-based Calumet Specialty Products Partners is a publicly traded master limited partnership that is engaged in the production of customized lubricating oils, solvents, waxes and asphalt from crude oil and other feedstock. The partnership also makes fuel products like gasoline, diesel and jet fuel.

Calumet Specialty Products has a proven record of growth through acquisitions. The partnership has been aggressive in purchasing assets that help support its cash flow stability and complements its business. The latest in this series is the buyout of San Antonio, Texas, refinery assets from another partnership NuStar Energy L.P. (NS - Free Report) for about $115 million.

However, analysts are predicting an earnings fall for Calumet Specialty Products during the current year. The 2013 Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.92 represents a decline of 16.5% over 2012.

Calumet Specialty Products – which acquired the 45,000 barrels-per-day (Bbl/d) Superior (Wisconsin) refinery from El Dorado, Arkansas-based Murphy Oil Corp. (MUR - Free Report) in 2011 – currently retains a Rank #3 (Hold), implying that it is expected to perform in line with the broader U.S. equity market over the next one to three months.

But there are certain other energy stocks like Global Partners L.P. (GLP - Free Report) and Sunoco Logistics Partners L.P. that offer tremendous value and are worth buying now. Both these partnerships sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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