Whenever an industry experiences an upheaval, the inevitable result is, frequently, an increase in mergers and acquisition activity within the sector. While the oil & gas sector took its time in ramping up merger mania following November 2014's downward shift in energy prices, it has been more than playing catch up. Recently, mid-stream operators Enbridge (ENB -0.24%) and Spectra Energy (SE)
made the tectonic move of merging - creating a energy infrastructure operator that will be larger than current white-elephant in the room Kinder Morgan (KMI 1.01%).
In this clip from Industry Focus: Energy, Motley Fool analysts Sean O'Reilly and Taylor Muckerman talk about Enbridge -- how it's positioned to grow in a somewhat volatile industry, how its merger with Spectra Energy buyout will affect the company, and more.
A full transcript follows the video.
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This podcast was recorded on Sept. 29, 2016.
Sean O'Reilly: I'm anxious to get your thoughts on a stock to watch, maybe a good stock for everybody here to look into, given all the information that we've covered.
Taylor Muckerman: I think one aspect of oil and gas that could benefit from an increase in U.S. or North American production, based on the supply cuts and rising oil prices, would be a midstream company. I'm a Spectra Energy shareholder, so I've been uber interested in the past few days, because the news cycle has died down on Enbridge.
O'Reilly: It's a stock-for-stock deal.
Muckerman: Yeah. I really want to dive in. My blink reaction is, "Yes, I'll be happy to own Enbridge." It's becoming much more a balance between an oil and natural gas with this acquisition. The footprint is just massive. So, I just want to really dive in. I think shareholders of either company right now are going to be well rewarded for the long term. And I think people could probably buy into Enbridge right now, but I just haven't given it the time necessary. But I love the fact that they predicted a 10% to 12% dividend hike each year for the next eight years. I've never seen an eight-year prediction.
O'Reilly: That's surprising.
Muckerman: It's the longest I've ever seen. So, I'm not necessarily trusting it completely, because eight years is a long time in the oil and gas sector.
O'Reilly: Plans make fools of us all.
Muckerman: Yes. But, just the fact that management is confident enough to come out and say that in the face of a lot of upstream companies cutting dividends, [like] Kinder Morgan cutting the dividend, I appreciate the safety that you see on both of these balance sheets. I think it's going to be a happy marriage.
O'Reilly: Bottom line, we don't know what will happen with prices, per se. But it looks like the supply flow, which is good for people that move oil and natural gas, is going to be good now.
Muckerman: Especially in North America. You've seen production cutbacks because of low oil prices, and then you see all these companies now talking about efficiency gains and being able to produce more at $50 to $60 a barrel. So, if prices to continue to rise slowly, you're going to see North American production come back.