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Natural Resource Partners LP Message Board

  • jrad52 jrad52 Jan 1, 2014 4:37 PM Flag

    Coal MLP performance in 2013

    Compared to the C Corp coal miners, the coal MLPs did pretty well in 2013. The corps were BTU (down 25% for the year including dividends), ANR (down 27%), ACI (down 38% inc dividends), WLT (down 53% inc dividends) and CLD (down 7%). I'm sure there are others that I didn't think of.

    For the year, NRP was up 19%, ARLP was up 40%, AHGP was up 30% and PVR (not as much in coal anymore) was up 12%, all including distributions. Those are the only coal MLPs with market caps over $ 1 billion, which is sort of my minimum for most investing. Of the 2 smaller coal MLPs, RNO was down 4%, including distributions, and OXF was down 72%. OXF stopped paying distributions in 2012. It's public market cap is under $ 30 million, and it was never big enough to survive any downturn.

    So if there's a trading turnaround in early 2014, I suspect it will benefit the corporations more than the MLPs. But a rising tide lifts all ships, and I'm hoping for a bit of an additional bounce.

    I'm always touting ARLP over NRP, so here's my first boost of 2014 - since 1/1/2004 (when I started keeping track), ARLP has returned 510% versus 87% for NRP and 157% for PVR, all including distributions. In fact, the only return that NRP investors have earned over the years is the distribution; the current price is lower than the 12/31/03 price.

    In the past 5 years, ARLP has increased its distributions 80% versus 9% for NRP. And I think AHGP (ARLP's GP) has done even better than ARLP over the years, but I could be wrong. If you have any faith in thermal coal whatsoever, ARLP is the MLP to buy.

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