Ignore earnings, as Linn is a partnership, not a stock. So it maximizes write-offs such as depletion and depreciation. Also, standard accounting fails to accommodate for hedges. Linn can make excellent hedges, but current prices can make them seem to be losses as if Linn were a trading house rather than a producer and deliverer of product. So what matters is actual cash flow and how well that covers and exceeds the distributions, not the kind of accounting that applies to stocks. This is something that's regularly misunderstood by not only investors but analysts, bloggers. and reporters. (And Linn doesn't pay a dividend. It makes distributions. They seem the same but there's a big difference.)
It is a partnership managed to deliver cash flow as return of capital or all nearly so. So the measure for MLP and pretty much all public traded partnerships is distribute Cash flow. Operational cash flow less sustaining capital requirements.