Because there are hundreds of publicly traded energy companies, it's easy to overlook ones that aren't household names or standout performers.
Two energy stocks that have put together excellent track records that have largely gone unnoticed by investors are Delek Logistics Partners (DKL 2.58%) and Pembina Pipeline (PBA 1.23%). Here's why investors won't want to miss what they bring to the table.
Delek Logistics Partners is a rather small master limited partnership (MLP) formed by a relatively unknown refining company in Delek US Holdings (DK 2.25%). Since it's flown under the radar of most investors, they've missed out on its impressive growth track record. The MLP has increased its distribution to investors every single quarter since its formation in late 2012, pushing the streak up to 37 straight quarters.
That's impressive, considering that most MLPs have cut their payouts at least once over the past decade because of all the volatility in the energy markets. Delek has avoided that fate by maintaining a solid financial profile and through the support of its parent. The company ended the first quarter generating enough cash to cover its distribution by 1.2 times. Meanwhile, it had a conservative leverage ratio of 3.3 times debt to earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA).
While that past success is no guarantee of future results, Delek Logistics appears to have plenty of fuel to continue growing its payout, which currently yields an attractive 7.9%. The company recently acquired 3Bear Energy, which will boost its cash flow in the near term. That deal should give the company the fuel to increase its payout by 5% this year. Meanwhile, Delek US Holdings still has some midstream assets that it could drop down to its MLP in the future to support its continued growth. On top of that, it can complete expansion projects or make additional third-party acquisitions to drive growth. Given its solid financial profile, even after funding the 3Bear deal, the MLP has the financial flexibility to continue growing its operations and distribution in the future.
Pembina Pipeline is a leading pipeline company in Canada. Given its geographic focus, most investors south of the border haven't heard of Pembina. They're missing out on its rock-solid monthly dividend, which currently yields more than 5%. The Canadian pipeline operator has maintained or increased its dividend every year since 1998, growing it at a 5% compound annual rate over the past decade.
That high-yielding payout is on a very solid foundation. The company generates very stable income, with 88% coming from fee-based contracts. Meanwhile, Pembina pays out slightly more than half its cash flow in dividends. It also has a solid investment-grade balance sheet, providing additional financial flexibility.
Pembina has a large pipeline of expansion opportunities to fuel growth in the coming years. It has several pipeline expansions currently under construction that will provide incremental income when they come online. The company is also building a power generation facility to reduce costs and greenhouse gas emissions at one of the facilities. On top of that, it has an extensive list of projects in development to continue growing in the future.
The company also has an excellent acquisition track record. It recently agreed to create a joint venture to merge its Western Canadian processing assets with those owned by a global infrastructure fund. The company plans to increase its dividend by 3.6% once it closes that highly accretive deal. With a strong financial profile and a world that still needs a lot of energy, Pembina should be able to continue expanding its operations and dividend in the coming years.
Income investors will want to get to know these energy stocks
Delek Logistics and Pembina Pipeline have quietly rewarded their investors through steadily rising dividends over the years. Both companies have the financial fortitude and growth prospects to continue increasing those dividends in the future. Income-focused investors will want to take a closer look at these lesser-known energy stocks.