Enterprise Products Partners (EPD 1.30%) has been an exceptional dividend stock over its first two decades as a public company. The energy company has increased its payout every single year, including in each of the last 60 straight quarters.
There's plenty more where that came from given the company's healthy financial profile and growth prospects. Add in the fact that Enterprise Products trades at an attractive price these days, and it's a great income stock to buy this month.
About that dividend
Enterprise Products' steady diet of dividend increases has helped push its yield up to a well-above-average 6.2%. While higher yields often come with more risk, that's not the case with this payout. Three factors back that view.
First, Enterprise generates very predictable cash flow since fee-based contracts currently support 85% of its earnings. Meanwhile, the company only pays out about 60% of that money in support of its payout, which is a conservative level for an MLP like Enterprise. Finally, it has one of the highest credit ratings in the sector, backed by a low leverage ratio. That not only increases its financial flexibility but also reduces its borrowing costs. With all of that combined, Enterprise's payout is on an exceptionally sustainable footing.
Lots of growth coming down the pipeline
Enterprise Products Partners has been able to consistently increase its dividend because it has steadily grown its cash flow. That trend appears poised to continue given that the company currently has more than $6 billion of expansion projects under construction, all backed by long-term, fee-based contracts. The MLP also has another $5 billion to $10 billion of expansions in development.
It recently approved one of those developments, a new petrochemical plant in Texas, after signing long-term agreements with chemicals giant LyondellBasell Industries (LYB 1.50%) to back that project. It will supply LyondellBasell with polymer grade propylene, which it needs to make a variety of other products. The facility is on track to come on line in the first half of 2023, which extends Enterprise's growth outlook by several more years.
Enterprise also recently signed contracts with oil giant Chevron (CVX 1.75%) that support its plans to build an offshore oil export terminal in Texas. That facility will enable Chevron to export more of its oil to global markets. Enterprise believes it can finish the facility within two years following regulatory approval, which could come in the first half of 2020. That adds to the company's longer-term growth visibility.
With such a large slate of projects under construction and in development, Enterprise Products Partners should have no problem continuing to grow its cash flow and increase its dividend in the coming years.
All that growth and income for a relatively cheap price
Typically, companies that pay well-supported dividends and offer attractive growth prospects sell for a premium price. However, that's not the case with Enterprise Products Partners.
While its cash flow through the first six months of this year is 19% above where it was in the year-ago period, Enterprise's unit price has barely budged. As a result, the company trades at an even more attractive valuation of about 11 times its earnings. Though that's not the cheapest in its peer group, it's below the 12.8 times multiple of its highest-priced peer. That discount doesn't make any sense because Enterprise has an equally strong financial profile and similarly compelling growth prospects.
A great time to buy this top-tier income stock
Enterprise Products Partners pays a rock-solid high-yield dividend that it should be able to continue growing for the next several years. Add that income and upside to the fact the company trades at a relatively cheap price, and it's an excellent income stock to buy this October.