Today Boardwalk Pipeline Partners (BWP) announced it has raised quarterly distributions from $.5275 to $.53, which is an increase of .47%. This is a minor increase, but keep in mind they have made increases for 24 consecutive quarters in a row. With 6 years of increases BWP is part of the "dividend challengers" group of dividend growth stocks.
Boardwalk Pipeline Partners is a MLP based in Texas, which transports and stores natural gas throughout the south and midwest regions of the United States. This year it has been negatively affected by a warmer than usual winter. Due to a warm winter it has seen reduced demand of natural gas from its customers such as power plants and other utility companies. On a positive note it has seen an increase in demand for storage services. About half its customer base are power plants, with another 30% industrial and local distribution companies.
It is currently expanding into the Marcellus and Eagle Ford shales and has recently issued more units to pay for such projects. The price of natural gas is rediculously low right now, luckily the price of the commodity doesn't cut into BWP's profits much because it charges fees for use of their infrastructure. I like that BWP is expanding, but I am not thrilled they have issued more units.
This is the 5th quarterly increase BWP has provided me since I became an investor in the partnership. Right now I am not buying anymore MLPs until I do my taxes this year. BWP and TCP are suppose to have K-1's ready in late February. After finishing my taxes I will determine if I will invest in additional partnerships. 2011 was an experiment to better understand MLPs, I do like the distributions and the tax sheltering for my taxable account. Right now I plan to hold BWP and TCP. If I do add another MLP I will stay away from a pure natural gas play and look at oil pipelines or possibly diversified pipelines.