I think you are correct. Going over the financial statements this seems like a good business in a very tough industry which needs to consolidate. As you say until the recent storms this has been a warm winter. Judging by the big layoffs over at FGP it has been tough for business.
In a recovered economy and normal winter I bet they can get back to this distribution - at least.
I agree it is probably better to take the hit and make sure they can invest in every short payback efficiency project. The spread between natural gas and propane is a real killer. The call will be very interesting.
NRGY has some midstream assets as well as propane. They are the GP for and own 75% of the LP units of NRGM, which owns NRGY's midstream assets in the NE. NRGY also owns some NGL storage assets in California and a natural gas storage facility in Texas.
NRGY has not been able to cover their distribution for the last couple of years, which means they have had to borrow money to pay the distribution. They do not expect to cover the distribution in 2012 either, which means more borrowing or a distribution cut. Fear of a distribution cut has depressed the stock price to where the yield is in excess of 12.5%.