The following commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet's guest contributor program, which is separate from the company's news coverage. The opinions expressed are those of the author and do not represent the views of TheStreet or its management.
By Ian Wyatt
NEW YORK (TheStreet) - Income investors are frequently looking for high-yield investments in the energy sector, and the master limited partnership (MLP) is one of my favorite structures to help investors meet that goal.
A MLP, which has a common organizational structure for oil and natural gas producers, offers investors a way to reap the benefits of higher energy prices, but without a lot of risk. Perhaps the best reason to consider a master limited partnership is the cash distributions, which are similar to stock dividends. But often the yield is better than what a stock can offer.A relatively new name in the MLP crowd is Crestwood Midstream Partners L.P. (CMLP). The stock currently yields 5.7 percent. The company is a Houston-based partnership that used to be known as Quicksilver Gas Services. The original company began operations in 2004 and went public in August 2007. In October 2010, Crestwood Holdings, a partnership between private equity firm First Reserve Corporation and industry veterans led by CEO Robert G. Phillip, paid $701 million to take control of Quicksilver Gas Services. It subsequently changed the name to the current form. Crestwood Midstream Partners is a natural gas gatherer and processor. The company handles the "midstream" part of the natural gas value chain, meaning its partners get the natural gas out of the ground and Crestwood takes care of the processing, storage, marketing and transportation functions. Crestwood is paid a fee to move the natural gas along. While natural gas prices have hovered around $4 per thousand cubic feet on the New York Mercantile Exchange (despite the extremely cold winter that much of the country has been experiencing), midstream operators such as Crestwood have fees that are less tethered to the commodity price itself.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV