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Equitrans to Award Shareholders With Quarterly Dividend

Zacks Equity Research

Equitrans Midstream Corporation ETRN recently announced a quarterly cash dividend of 41 cents per share or $1.64 on an annualized basis for fourth-quarter 2018. This is the first time Equitrans is awarding its shareholders with quarterly dividend since it started trading in the New York Stock Exchange.

The dividend will be paid on Feb 27 to its shareholders on record as of Feb 15, 2019. Based on the closing price of $19.44 as of Feb 6, the fourth-quarter 2018 dividend translates to a yield of 8.4%. The company has plans to increase the quarterly dividend by 9.8% to 45 cents per share in 2019. The dividend will subsequently stand at $1.80 per share on an annualized basis. Markedly, the company intends to hike the quarterly dividend once every year in the first quarter.

Notably, on Jan 10, 2019, Equitrans completed the purchase of all the remaining common units in EQGP Holdings, in a bid to streamline and simplify the corporate structure of the company. The move is expected to pave way for Equitrans’ annual dividend growth, which is likely to rise 8-10% in the long run.

Equitrans has one of the biggest gas gathering systems in the United States. It also has transmission and storage systems. The company has a premier midstream asset base in the prolific Appalachian Basin. Its strong operation positions it to increase its shareholders’ value in the long term.

The company spun off from EQT Corporation in mid-November. Since then, the stock declined 7% as shown below.

Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider

Currently, Equitrans has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Investors interested in the energy sector can opt for some better-ranked stocks as given below:

YPF Sociedad Anonima YPF is a Buenos Aires, Argentina-based integrated energy company. Its bottom line for 2018 is expected to increase more than 27% year over year. The company currently has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Calgary, Canada-based Gran Tierra Energy Inc. GTE is an oil and gas exploration and production company. Its bottom line for 2018 is expected to increase more than 300% year over year. It delivered average positive earnings surprise of more than 24% in the trailing four quarters. The stock currently has a Zacks Rank #2.  

El Dorado, AR-based Murphy USA Inc. MUSA is a refining and marketing company. Its bottom line for the quarter ending Mar 30, 2019 is expected to increase more than 190% year over year. The stock currently has a Zacks Rank #2. 

Zacks' Top 10 Stocks for 2019

In addition to the stocks discussed above, wouldn't you like to know about our 10 finest buy-and-holds for the year?

From more than 4,000 companies covered by the Zacks Rank, these 10 were picked by a process that consistently beats the market. Even during 2018 while the market dropped -5.2%, our Top 10s were up well into double-digits. And during bullish 2012 – 2017, they soared far above the market's +126.3%, reaching +181.9%.

This year, the portfolio features a player that thrives on volatility, an AI comer, and a dynamic tech company that helps doctors deliver better patient outcomes at lower costs.

See Stocks Today >>

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Murphy USA Inc. (MUSA) : Free Stock Analysis Report
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