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How Institutional Investors Played AMLP in Q4 2018

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Strong start to 2019

Many midstream companies reported fair earnings growth last year compared to 2017. However, the same was not reflected in their market performances. The Alerian MLP ETF (AMLP), which represents the 25 largest MLPs, exhibited a solid start to 2019. So far this year, AMLP is up about 15%, while broader markets are up 11%. The energy (XLE) sector has soared more than 15% year-to-date. In this series, we’ll look at how institutional investors played midstream companies in Q4. Let’s start with AMLP.

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Institutional activity

According to a recent 13F filing, Morgan Stanley Wealth Management was AMLP’s top institutional investor in the fourth quarter. Morgan Stanley sold nearly 5.0 million units of AMLP and held 6.3% of AMLP’s total outstanding units as of December 31. In the third quarter, Morgan Stanley sold 160,000 AMLP units.

Goldman Sachs & Company was the top buyer of AMLP in the fourth quarter. It bought net ~11.4 million units of AMLP and held a ~3.6% stake at the end of Q4 2018. Goldman Sachs Asset Management bought 3.4 million units of AMLP during the fourth quarter.

Charles Schwab Investment Advisory sold net 9.4 million units and held ~3.1% of AMLP’s total outstanding units as of December 31. Charles Schwab added ~0.9 million units of AMLP during the third quarter.

Creative Planning, a Kansas-based financial services company, sold 14.2 million units of AMLP and held 1.4% in the ETF. In Q3 2018, it bought nearly 4 million units and held 2.9% in AMLP.

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