The market seems to hate pipeline giant Energy Transfer (NYSE:ET) these days. That's the only plausible explanation behind the continued slide in the energy company's value, which has fallen another 17% over the past year. That slump comes even though the MLP is on track for a record year, with earnings expected to grow another 15%.
Because of that disconnect, Energy Transfer is absurdly cheap, which is why its yield has risen to a sky-high level of 9.8%. Add that compelling combination of yield and value to the company's growth prospects, and it's a top buy for income-seeking investors this November.
A cash flow machine
Energy Transfer has generated nearly $3.3 billion of cash through the first half of this year. That's up more than 30% year over year and enough to cover its high-yielding payout by 2.03 times. As a result, it has generated more than $1.6 billion of excess cash, which it has used to finance expansion projects and pay down debt.
The company expects to continue producing a gusher of cash. That's because it has long-term, fee-based contracts in place that will supply it with about 85% of its earnings this year, which helps mute most of the impact that commodity price volatility has on its profits. In fact, thanks to its strong showing in the first half of the year, Energy Transfer's earnings are currently on track to come in about $200 million above its initial expectations even though commodity prices have weakened.
Lots of growth still ahead
As noted, Energy Transfer is on pace to grow its earnings by about 15% this year. However, it still has plenty of growth ahead of it. As of the end of the second quarter, the company expected to invest between $4.6 billion and $4.8 billion on expansion projects this year. These projects include two more natural gas liquids (NGLs) processing plants that are on track to start up in early 2020 and 2021, respectively. The company also has an NGL pipeline expansion that should be in service by the end of next year. Finally, it's building the Orbit ethane export terminal that it also expects to finish by the end of 2020.
Meanwhile, it has several other expansion projects in development. Among the most notable ones are an LNG export facility along the U.S. Gulf Coast, expansions of its Nederland terminal, and an expansion of its Bakken pipeline. It's most excited about the Bakken expansion, which would double that system's capacity through the addition of new pumping units. It's a low-cost, high-return opportunity.
Back in the M&A game
Meanwhile, Energy Transfer recently added to its growth prospects by agreeing to acquire SemGroup (NYSE:SEMG) for $5 billion. That deal will provide it with another world-class export facility as well as several other liquids-related assets in the U.S. and Canada. It will also enhance the company's growth prospects by facilitating the development of the Ted Collins Pipeline, which will link its two Gulf Coast export terminals.
The acquisition of SemGroup will be Energy Transfer's first major third-party deal in years. The company hasn't been able to make large-scale acquisitions because of its weak balance sheet and low valuation. However, with its financial profile improving, it was able to buy SemGroup, which also traded at a dirt cheap value. Because of that, the deal will accelerate the growth in Energy Transfer's cash flow on a per-share basis.
Big-time income with equally enticing upside
The market seems to be giving Energy Transfer away these days. Because of that, yield-seeking investors can scoop up a nearly 10% payout from the midstream company, which is on a very sustainable foundation. On top of that, they get its equally compelling growth prospects, which it recently bolstered by picking up SemGroup. That combination of yield and growth for a deeply discounted price makes it such an enticing buy this month.