Once the darlings of Wall Street, energy master limited partnerships have gotten slaughtered by the protracted decline in energy prices.
However, select MLPs have made a comeback over the past month as energy prices appear set on a lasting upward trajectory.
In this dismal era of 1% certificates of deposit and declining dividend growth rates, investors are desperate for the double-digit yields once afforded by MLPs.
Those looking for a hidden gem in the battered MLP sector that provides a sustainable high yield as well as robust potential capital appreciation should consider Transocean Partners (RIGP) .
The continuing recovery of energy prices should prove a resilient tailwind for this well-managed MLP, making it one of the best growth-and-income plays found in the volatile broader market.
Transocean Partners is an offshore drilling contractor in the Gulf of Mexico, operating a fleet of two ultra-deep water drill ships and one ultra-deep water semi-submersible rig. The company is scheduled to report first-quarter earnings on May 6, and the results are expected to be strong.
The average analyst estimate is for earnings of 50 cents a share, a considerable improvement from the loss of 9 cents a year earlier. Earnings for the current second quarter are projected to be 50 cents a share, compared with 51 cents a year earlier.
Full-year earnings are forecast at $1.90 a share, compared with $1.12 in 2015.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries' Doha, Qatar, talks last month to attempt agreement on a production freeze were a conspicuous bust, but that may prove a moot point. U.S. shale production, which contributed to the global oil glut, is falling to create a de facto if not official freeze.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration recently forecast that oil production in seven major shale-drilling regions in the United States is on track for a major decline this month.
The EIA expects shale oil production to fall by 114,000 barrels per day from 4.950 million last month April to 4.836 million this month.
Moreover, Baker Hughesreported Friday that the U.S. oil rig count fell by 11 to 332 last week, its lowest level since November 2009. Crude prices hover at about $45 a barrel, after falling as low as the $20s this year.
Formed in 2014 by major oil drilling firm Transocean, Transocean Partners' primary virtue is the focus and simplicity of its business structure. Contract expirations are staggered over long-term periods, with clients BP and Chevron ensuring a steady flow of income to cover the dividend.
What's more, with just three drilling units under its purview, Transocean Partners' management can keep operating costs low and under control, as opposed to the dire situation at the MLP's much larger and debt-ridden parent, Transocean.
Transocean Partners shares are up more than 38% year to date and more than 40% over the past month, compared with the respective gains of more than 13% and 12% for the Vanguard Energy Exchange-Traded Fund and more than 2% percent and 0.83% for the S&P 500.
Shares of Transocean Partners have even outperformed its direct peers in the MLP industry. The Alerian MLP ETF, down about 1.49% year to date, has gained more than 14% over the past month.
Transocean Partners shares trade at more than $11. Although the median analyst one-year price target is just $8, it is $18 on the high end.
With a current dividend yield of 12.27%, this energy stock looks like a no-brainer.
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John Persinos is editorial manager and investment analyst at Investing Daily. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.