Growth and dividends are the sure-fire ways to find profit in your investments. The hard part is finding stocks that combine the two. It’s not that they are necessarily incompatible – rather, it is just that the highest growth stocks tend to achieve their appreciation by plowing profits directly back into the company. Dividend payments dilute this, by paying some or all of the profits back to investors. Still, there are investment sectors where growth and dividends walk hand-in-hand.
The natural place to look is in sectors with high cash flows and essential products. Energy comes to mind. Without energy, our modern digital economy will grind to a quick halt. Energy companies – whether they extract oil from the ground or generate electricity for commercial use – earn a profit buy fueling modern life. Investors can piggyback on that, drawing profits from the sector’s cash flow.
Investment bank JPMorgan released a special report on the North American energy industry, emphasizing just these attributes – the rising production, the high cash flow, and the fundamental strength of the industry to survive a prolonged period of low prices. On US natural gas production, JPM “sees ~3% US onshore growth in 2020, driven largely by [Permian basin] production,” while noting that, for crude oil, “[Texas’] Midland remains the most economic shale play in the US as breakevens have drifted lower over the last year, largely due to increased oil pipeline capacity.”
JPM’s final point, on increased pipeline capacity, brings us to the midstream sector, a vital component of the energy industry. Midstream companies move the oil and gas that extraction companies pull out of the ground; without the midstream segment, fuel would not reach the customers. JPMorgan sees room in midstream for investment activity, saying, “We believe yield-hungry investors will continue to gravitate towards quality midstreamers with strong business models and corporate governance.”
In this article, we’ll look at three JPMorgan dividend stock recommendations from the energy sector. As you can see from the TipRanks Stock Comparison tool, all three offer excellent dividend yields, affordable cost of entry, and a genuine upside potential. Let's take a closer look.
Plains All American Pipeline (PAA)
Start with Plains All American, a pipeline company based in Houston, Texas. The company operates across much of North America, with oil pipelines across the US, natural gas storage facilities in Michigan and Louisiana, and liquid petroleum gas facilities in Canada. The company owns and operates over 17,000 miles of crude oil and gas pipelines, as well as rail, trucking, and river transport assets, along with 109 million barrels of storage capacity.
In Q3 last year, the most recent quarterly report on record, PAA showed an adjusted EPS of 52 cents, beating the expectation by an impressive 33%. That number was also up 20% year-over-year. Revenues, at $7.89 billion, were in line with expectations, but down 10% year-over-year. The company’s Transportation, Facilities, and Supply and Logistics segments all showed yoy increases. Forward guidance predicts full year 2019 earnings at $2.35 – investors will have to wait until February 4 for the Q4 and full year numbers to find out.
PAA does have an immediate treat for shareholders, however. The company pays out a dividend of 36 cents quarterly, or $1.44 annually per share. This translates to an impressive yield of 7.75%. Considering that the average dividend yield among S&P 500 listed companies is only 2%, this gives PAA shares a strong return on cash invested. The payout ratio, a comparison of the dividend with the earnings, stands at 69%, indicating that the dividend is easily sustainable at current rates.
JPMorgan analyst Jeremy Tonet reviewed this stock and he's clearly bullish. In his comments, the 4-star analyst said, “We see PAA as well-positioned for pipe competition with lower leverage and S&L expectations, as well as JV strategic partner alignment. As such, we favor PAA's Permian torque & solid project backlog.”
Tonet reiterated his Buy rating on PAA alongside a $25 price target, which indicates confidence in a 34% upside potential. (To watch Tonet’s track record, click here)
PAA’s Strong Buy consensus rating is based on 14 reviews – including 11 Buys against just 3 Holds. The stock sells for an affordable price of $18.59, and the $22.79 average price target suggests an upside of 22%. (See Plains All American’s stock analysis at TipRanks)
Targa Resources Corporation (TRGP)
Targa is a midstream company, like PAA above. These are the companies that provide the infrastructure needed to get oil from the wellheads to markets. Targa operates mainly in the states Texas-New Mexico-Oklahoma-Louisiana, with over 28,000 miles of natural gas pipelines, moving over 3.9 trillion cubic feet of gas and 415,000 barrels of natural gas liquids.
Late last year, Targa sold off its West Texas Permian oil gathering assets, in a move that allows the company to focus on pipeline operations. The move was intended to compensate for high overhead and somewhat disappointing Q3 earnings. TRGP missed badly on revenues, with the $1.9 billion reported coming in well below the $2.17 billion forecast. Worse, from an investor perspective, the company gave forward guidance on capex for 2020 of $1.3 billion, higher than expected.
With all of that, however, TRGP maintained its hefty dividend. The yield, at over 9%, is 4.5x the average on the S&P, and the annual payment is $3.64. This comes out to 91 cents paid out per share quarterly. Targa has held that dividend steady since 2H15, providing investors with a reliable, high-yield income stream.
JPMorgan's Jeremy Tonet, quoted above, also examined Targa in his energy industry report. Seeing the company as a Buy proposition, Tonet wrote, “Targa possesses top tier leverage to liquids rich production and downstream NGL logistics, with attractive exposure to the Permian. While TRGP's commodity price exposure represents a double-edged sword, we believe executing on the current portfolio of attractive NGL logistics projects will deliver the 'pig through the python' and drive de-leveraging and positive re-rating.”
Tonet gave TRGP a $49 price target, implying an upside of 22%. (To watch Tonet’s track record, click here)
Targa has received 10 recent analyst reviews, and the split reflects both the company’s strong position and worries over the Q3 revenues. The stock’s 4 Buys, 5 Holds, and 1 Sell rating combine to give a Moderate Buy consensus view. Shares are selling for $40.22, and the $42.44 average price target indicates a 5.5% upside potential. (See Targa’s stock analysis at TipRanks)
Williams Companies (WMB)
Tulsa-based Williams is a utility provider, dealing mainly in natural gas processing and transport. The company also owns assets in the petroleum industry and in electricity generation. Williams handles – through provision or transport – as much as 30% of the natural gas used daily in the US. Customers range from residential to commercial to power generation companies.
WMB was showing mixed results in 2H19. For the third quarter, the company’s revenues missed the forecast by 4.3%, coming in at $2 billion. Worse, that performance was also 13% below the year-ago number. Earnings, however, rose, and the 26 cent EPS reported was 8.3% better than expected. And even better, for income-minded dividend investors, distributable cash flows rose 8% to $822 million.
Williams uses its cash flow to fund a 6.6% dividend. That yield is impressive – it’s 3.3x the S&P average – even though the absolute number is low. The quarterly payment of 38 cents annualizes to $1.52 per share. The company has been slowly – but steadily – increasing the dividend since 2017.
Once again, we have a review from Jeremy Tonet for this stock. Tonet says of WMB, “Williams owns one of the largest integrated natgas infrastructure positions in North America... We believe that WMB as a single security, IG-rated energy infrastructure c-corp with a strong yield will attract significant generalist investor interest.”
Tonet’s Buy rating is backed by a $28 price target, suggesting a strong 22% upside potential. (To watch Tonet’s track record, click here)
Overall, WMB shares have a Moderate Buy from the analyst consensus, based on 5 Buys and 3 Holds recently assigned. The stock sells for $23.01, and the $30.71 average price target indicates a premium potential of 33% from that selling price. (See Williams’ stock analysis at TipRanks)