After the acquisition of Inergy and Arrow the per-share dividend was cut from 51 cents to 41 cents, but even at the present level the stock is yielding 7.5%. A recent $500 million preferred equity placement, which included a unit of GE's (GE) GE Energy Financial Services, will ease any cash crunch. The units pay 58 cents per quarter in either cash or stock.
The company has also had insider trading on both the buy and sell sides recently.
John Sherman, who was Crestwood's CEO before the Inergy deal and remains a director, has been selling his stock. At the same time independent director David Lumpkins, executive chairman of PetroLogistics (PDH), a chemical company being acquired for $2.1 billion by a unit of privately held Koch Industries, was buying shares. News of the Sherman sales brought in the shorts, but the Lumpkins sales seem to have many covering.
A return to normalcy could be a big plus for Crestwood shareholders, with the stock having lost 12% of its value since the start of the year, almost double the dividend rate. When pipelines stay strong, earnings do as well. And when you have a big piece of the market, as Crestwood does in the Bakken, earnings can stand strong as well.We reached out to Crestwood for comment on all these matters but had received none by press time. At the time of publication the author owned shares of GE. Follow @danablankenhorn This article represents the opinion of a contributor and not necessarily that of TheStreet or its editorial staff.