Upstream MLPs Fell as Crude Oil Continued to Fall on July 16



United States Oil Fund

In the previous two articles of this series, we analyzed the best- and worst-performing midstream MLPs on Thursday, July 16. To put those movements into context, we’ll now analyze the performance of energy-related ETFs and upstream MLPs on July 16.

The United States Oil Fund (USO) lost 1.04% yesterday. USO tracks the daily movement in WTI (West Texas Intermediate) light crude oil. On Thursday, WTI crude oil for August delivery settled down 50 cents, or 1%, at $50.91 a barrel. For context, consider that the upstream energy company–heavy SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Exploration & Production ETF (XOP) lost 1.17% yesterday.

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Upstream MLPs

Nearly all upstream MLP stocks ended in the red in yesterday’s trade, tracking the fall in crude oil prices. The biggest losers among upstream MLPs were Linn Energy (LINE), LRR Energy (LRE), Breitburn Energy Partners (BBEP), and Atlas Resource Partners (ARP). LINE, LRE, BBEP, and ARP lost 5.40%, 6.36%, 6.38%, and 10.63% yesterday, respectively. E&P companies’ earnings are significantly tied to crude oil and natural gas prices. The United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG), which tracks daily movements in natural gas futures, lost 1.43% yesterday. For an in-depth analysis of BBEP’s recent operating performance, read Analyzing BreitBurn Energy Partners in the Energy Aftermath.

Alerian MLP ETF

The Alerian MLP ETF (AMLP), which comprises 25 midstream energy MLPs, lost 0.89% yesterday. AMLP underperformed the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) by 1.69 percentage points but outperformed the SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Exploration & Production ETF (XOP) by 0.28 percentage points in yesterday’s trade. SPY, which tracks the broader S&P 500 index, gained 0.80% yesterday. AMLP has returned -10.96% year-to-date, while SPY is up 3.29% over this period.

For more company and industry analysis on master limited partnerships, visit our Master Limited Partnerships page.


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