EV Energy Partners' Earnings Look Impressive

Master limited partnerships can be attractive investments if they get their businesses right. EV Energy Partners (NAS: EVEP) could be one such stock whose impressive third-quarter results are worth a second look.

Effective strategy
Taking the acquisitions route to expand, this limited partnership formed by oil and gas asset manager EnerVest, has done a pretty fine job. Net income stood at $88 million -- a 51% jump from the third quarter last year. However, I wouldn't want to dwell on this figure too much, as it contains a big chunk of unrealized gains on derivatives. Income from core operations (excluding any non-cash items or gains from asset sales) rose a solid 111%, to more than $13 million in this period, which is why I'm impressed.

Focus on the long term
Net production rose 44%, which is definitely worth delving into. The trusted Barnett shale play has played a stellar role here. Acquiring long-lived assets with shallow depletion rates has been this company's forte and this strategy seems to be proving effective. Natural gas production rose substantially, by 48%, and further growth looks potentially good. EV Energy has already closed additional acquisitions worth $975 million from EnCana (NYS: ECA) .

In short, the company holds properties in nearly every interesting shale play. I'm interested in the upcoming Utica shale play. Chesapeake Energy (NYS: CHK) , which operates some of the company's properties there, has entered into a joint venture with a third party to develop 650,000 acres. This should benefit EV Energy in a big way.

The dividend's looking good
The biggest draw comes from the fact that this company pays out an impressive dividend of 4.1%. While this might not sound like much, the payout of $3.04 per unit is quite impressive. The stock has shot up by an awesome 94% in the past 12 months, which has considerably diminished the yield percentage. Compared to Cheniere Energy Partners (ASE: CQP) , which pays $1.70, and Linn Energy (NAS: LINE) at $2.70 per unit, EV Energy seems pretty impressive.

Foolish bottom line
For someone in the business of natural gas production, a master limited partnership sounds just right. The company needn't worry about tax burdens on top of an already bearish market for this commodity. This strategy definitely seems to be working to EV Energy's advantage. EV Energy is on the right track.

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At the time this article was published Fool contributor Isac Simon does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned in this article.Motley Fool newsletter serviceshave recommended buying shares of Chesapeake Energy. 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.

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