Units of Crestwood Equity Partners (CEQP 1.05%) rebounded 10.6% in July, according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence. One notable catalyst fueled the rise last month of this master limited partnership (MLP).
Units of Crestwood initially tumbled along with several other pipeline stocks in early July after a court ordered the Dakota Access Pipeline to shut down. That news weighed on Crestwood because its Arrow system in North Dakota flows into this pipeline. The concern is that the company's customers might need to curtail their production, which would impact the MLP's volumes and cash flow. However, Crestwood does own a rail terminal in the region, which it could use to ship these volumes to market centers.
Meanwhile, in mid-July, Crestwood declared its next distribution payment, maintaining its prior level. That pleased the market, which was worried that the MLP might reduce its high-yielding payout.
Crestwood was able to maintain its distribution despite the turbulence in the oil market because its second-quarter results came in stronger than expected. The company provided a glimpse of those numbers when it announced its distribution. It officially reported them in August, posting double-digit cash flow growth thanks to recent expansion projects and a quick rebound in shut-in volumes.
This year's oil market downturn hasn't impacted Crestwood as deeply as the market anticipated. Because of that, its distribution -- which yields an eye-popping 16%+ even after last month's rally -- seems sustainable, especially with the company projecting that it will produce substantial free cash in the second half of the year after funding the payout and capital expenses. That makes it look like an intriguing option for income investors these days.