2011: A Great Year for Brookfield Infrastructure

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We're hitting the end of 2011, and it's a great time to look back on the performance of Brookfield Infrastructure Properties (NYS: BIP) , which enjoyed a very good year. This limited partnership is a spinoff of Brookfield Asset Management (NYS: BAM) , one of the sharpest investors around.

A few Foolish facts about Brookfield Infrastructure

Year-to-Date Stock Return34.0%
P/E7.3
Dividend Yield5.2%
1-Year Revenue Growth107.0%
CAPS Rating (out of 5)*****

Sources: S&P Capital IQ and Motley Fool CAPS.

For a stock that investors should love for its yield, Brookfield Infrastructure turned in some mighty good capital appreciation in 2011. That's part of the appeal of investing in a company that operates something like an infrastructure fund, picking up attractive assets at good prices -- one of the reasons it made our list of 11 incredible dividend stocks earlier this year.

If you love the hefty dividends from utilities such as Duke Energy (NYS: DUK) or Southern Company (NYS: SO) but would like more diversification, you should love Brookfield Infrastructure. The company owns assets across industries and across the world, making it a well-diversified play on global growth. It has stakes in ports, timberlands, power transmission assets, coal terminals, and railroads, among others. Like utilities, these businesses offer high barriers to entry and the diversification means that you're not completely exposed to freak events such as the Missouri tornado that wiped out Empire District Electric (NYS: EDE) and its meaty dividend (at least temporarily).

And this year, like last, Brookfield Infrastructure added to its trove of assets. The company offered about $417 million in new shares in order to snap up two Chilean toll roads and fund the growth capital expenditures on its Australian railroad. Given its track record of strong capital allocation and its backing from Brookfield Asset, I'm happy to see the company make acquisitions.

Even better, with this diversification and smart capital allocation, you get a company that yields more than most utilities:

Company

Yield

Brookfield Infrastructure5.2%
Duke Energy4.6%
Southern Company4.1%
National Grid (NYS: NGG) 5.9%
Exelon (NYS: EXC) 4.8%

Source: S&P Capital IQ.

But like those utilities, Brookfield Infrastructure has a high level of cash flows represented by regulatory or contractual frameworks -- 80% as of the latest quarter -- providing the company with high-quality revenue. And that stability means the company should continue to perform well in 2012, despite an uncertain economic climate.

With its goal to increase its payout by 3%-7% annually, and a total return goal of 12%-15% annually, Brookfield Infrastructure looks like a great place to be for the long term, even if there are bumps along the way.

I think Brookfield Infrastructure has what it takes to rock 2012, but our analysts have selected a different stock that they believe is poised for tremendous growth in 2012. Find out which company that is in our new free report: "The Motley Fool's Top Stock for 2012." Thousands have already requested access and it'll be available for only a limited time. So get access while you can -- it's free.

At the time this article was published Jim Royal, Ph.D., owns shares of Brookfield Infrastructure, Brookfield Asset, Duke, Exelon, Southern, and National Grid.The Motley Fool owns shares of Brookfield Infrastructure.Motley Fool newsletter serviceshave recommended buying shares of Brookfield Infrastructure, National Grid, Brookfield Asset, Southern, and Exelon.Motley Fool newsletter serviceshave also recommended creating a write covered strangle position in Exelon. Try any of our Foolish newsletter servicesfree for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe thatconsidering a diverse range of insightsmakes us better investors. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy.

Copyright © 1995 - 2011 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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