Of the four propane distribution MLPs—AmeriGas Partners (APU), Ferrellgas Partners (FGP), Star Gas Partners (SGU), and Suburban Propane Partners (SPH)—only Star Gas Partners stock is in the green so far in 2017. APU, FGP, and SPH are down nearly 10%, 26%, and 18%, respectively, year-to-date.
The chart above compares the performance of Star Gas Partners, AmeriGas Partners, Ferrellgas Partners, and Suburban Propane Partners with the Alerian MLP ETF (AMLP). This series analyzes and compares the performance of these four MLPs.
We’ll compare the key metrics for these MLPs, including earnings growth, distribution yield, valuation, capital spending, and leverage. We’ll also look at Wall Street analysts’ recommendations for these MLPs.
AmeriGas Partners (APU) is the country’s largest retail propane distributor, based on the annual volume of propane distributed. It serves 2 million customers across the US and has ~2,100 distribution locations.
Formed in 1994, Ferrellgas Partners (FGP) is engaged in the retail distribution of propane and related equipment sales. Its midstream operations include crude oil logistics and water solutions, started in 2015 and 2014, respectively.
Suburban Propane Partners
Suburban Propane Partners’ (SPH) operations date back to 1928, although it was listed as an MLP in 1996. SPH distributes propane, fuel oil, and refined fuels. It is also engaged in the marketing of electricity and natural gas.
Star Gas Partners
Star Gas Partners (SGU) distributes home heating oil and propane, primarily operating in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions. According to the company, it is the largest retail distributor of home heating oil in the US based on sales volume.
During fiscal 2016, ~63% of SGU’s total sales originated from the sale of home heating oil and propane, 22% from the installation and repair of heating and air conditioning equipment, and 15% from the sale of other petroleum products.