If you're interested in the oil and gas biz but feel like you missed out on the party with moon shotHidden Gems pick Valero (NYSE:VLO), or you're baffled by the sheer enormity of enterprises such as ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM) or the hugeness plus debt of BP (NYSE:BP), you might want to take a look at something smaller, slow, and steady. How about a pipeline player? At the right price, this is an attractive business, since pipelines aren't exactly easy to build, and when you get paid by volume, you're insulated, to a degree, from the price fluctuations that can give you whiplash in the rest of the petrol industry.

Since being pegged as an Income Investor pick last spring, Enterprise Products Partners (NYSE:EPD) has outrun the Standard & Poor's 500 by more than 12%. Add to that gain a hefty, near-7% dividend yield. And if you're new to the master limited partnership (MLP) game, check this out: That payout comes with some tax advantages. Chief among these, the lion's share of distributions are tax-deferred until you sell your shares, when they're included in your taxable gain. Hold these long enough -- as in, until you retire and have a lower taxable income -- and you end up with Foolish benefits similar to an IRA.

Oops. Did I say slow and steady? On the surface, the latest results seem anything but. Revenues rose 65% from the prior-year quarter, and earnings reached $0.21 per share, reversing a $0.04 loss. And those numbers don't include the benefits from the merger with GulfTerra Energy Partners, which took effect Sept. 30. Not only will revenues rise to reflect the new operations but also the synergies between the two should offer further opportunities for growth and increased profitability.

In short, Enterprise Products continues to execute on the strategies that made it a tasty dividend pick in the first place. During a time when many things shiny and Internet -- cough Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) -- keep zipping skyward with little regard for the long-term value of the underlying business, plodding players like this one deserve a second look.

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Seth Jayson is convinced his portfolio would be better off if he paid more attention to colleague Mathew Emmert's dividend picks. At the time of publication, he had no positions in any company mentioned. View his stock holdings and Fool profile here. Fool rules are here.