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Oiltanking Partners -- A Sleeper IPO

Stocks in this article: OILT

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Social networking may get all the buzz, but Oiltanking Partners (OILT) could be the sleeper IPO this month.

The Houston-based company is expected to price its offering this week, and it's looking to raise $200 million, selling 10 million limited partnership units with pricing seen between $19 and $21.

At that level, the company, which is involved in the storage, terminaling and transport of crude oil and related products, is roughly valued in line with its peers. If the pricing comes in at the $20 midpoint of the range, Oiltanking would have a price-to-book ratio of around 3.1X.

That's below 3.3X for KinderMorgan (KMP) and Enterprise Products (EPD); but higher than Energy Transfer (ETP)and Copano Energy (CPNO), which are both at 2.1X.

Another plus is that Oiltanking is ready to give back. The company is planning on a dividend yield of 6.8%, which is higher than most of its peer group. Only Energy Transfer comes in higher at 7.3%. This moderate pricing, combined with the nice yield, could create continuing demand once the company is public.

Most investors look at exploration and refining, but the storage and terminaling are a critical part of the oil industry as well. Oiltanking Partners is a limited partnership, whose general partner is Oiltanking Holdings Americas, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Germany's Oiltanking GmbH, which is the second largest independent storage provider for crude oil and refined products.

Oiltanking has 17 customers with agreements at the Houston terminal and 16 at the Beaumont, including Royal Dutch Shell, Exxon Mobil, Lyondell Basel ND Enterprise Products Partners. The Houston terminal typically signs customers for five to twenty years. Beaumont's customers tend to have shorter agreements because they mostly store vacuum gas oil, which has a shorter contract life.

While it's in the process of renewing many customers' contracts, the company currently operates the only independent vacuum gas oil and clean petroleum products handling and storage business in the Beaumont, Port Arthur area.

Year-to-date, there have been 12 energy IPOs raising $5.1 billion, the second largest group following technology, which has had 30 deals. The average first-day return for energy offerings is 3.3% and an average total return is 4.2%, according to Renaissance Capital.

-- Written by Debra Borchardt in New York.

Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors, reporters and analysts from holding positions in any individual stocks.

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