When financial uncertainty looms, hard assets offer both comfort and value. Investors are wise to mimic the shift in consumer priorities from the things one wishes to have to the things one needs, as evidenced by recent returns throughout the commodities complex. One company that really knows assets and how to profit from them is Brookfield Asset Management (NYSE: BAM ) . The company's latest spinoff, Brookfield Infrastructure Partners (NYSE: BIP ) , provides investors with an intriguing vehicle for exposure to a particular niche of commodity-related, recession-resistant assets: infrastructure. Assets consist of power transmission lines in Canada, Brazil, and Chile; plus substantial timber holdings in the Pacific Northwest.
Brookfield Infrastructure announced pro forma operating cash flow (Adjusted Net Operating Income) of $22.7 million, or $0.59 per unit, bolstered by $2.8 million in non-recurring revenue. At nearly twice the ANOI reported for the same period in 2007, the company appears to be weathering the financial storm quite well thus far.
Not surprisingly, BIP's timber unit has experienced some weakness lately amid depressed demand for lumber in the U.S. It's all thanks to the same housing crisis that has punished shares of its corporate cousin Brookfield Homes (NYSE: BHS ) . The company is adapting, though, taking advantage of the location of its lands in the Pacific Northwest to direct sales to the hungry Asian market. Meanwhile, BIP's transmission lines have generated some electric returns, thanks to favorable currency exchange rates and price increases.
Because of the prevailing economic climate, BIP is trading below its IPO price, and it continues to trade at a significant discount to the company's pro forma book value. If you seek hard assets as a store of value, then BIP might be a blip on your radar.