Top 5 Transportation Companies To Watch For 2015

David Fried, editor of the Buyback Letter, explains how he builds portfolios based solely on companies undergoing buyback programs, and highlights some favorite buyback bets for investors.

Steve Halpern: We’re here today with David Fried, editor of the Buyback Letter. How are you doing, David?

David Fried: I’m doing well, thank you. How are you doing?

Steve Halpern: Very good. For those who aren’t familiar with buybacks, could you explain a little about your interest in this area, how you got involved, and what impact that buyback has on a stock.

David Fried: Sure. Well, there’s been a lot of research done on buybacks and companies typically will buy back stock when it’s undervalued.

Now, it may be undervalued given an absolute outlook, or it may be undervalued given the future of what’s going on with the company, and, of course, the insiders at the company have a bird’s eye view for that.

We really consider the ultimate to be insider buying, because the whole Board of Directors and management, pretty much, has to be on board to agree and spend company funds to buy back shares.

Top 5 Transportation Companies To Watch For 2015: MPLX LP (MPLX)

MPLX LP, incorporated on March 27, 2012, is a fee-based limited partnership formed by Marathon Petroleum Corporation to own, operate, develop and acquire crude oil, refined product and other hydrocarbon-based product pipelines and other midstream assets. The Company’s assets consist of a 51% indirect interest in a network of common carrier crude oil and product pipeline systems and associated storage assets in the Midwest and Gulf Coast regions of the United States.

The Company generates revenue by charging tariffs for transporting crude oil, refined products and other hydrocarbon-based products through its pipelines and at its barge dock and fees for storing crude oil and products at its storage facilities. The Company is also the operator of additional crude oil and product pipelines owned by Marathon Petroleum Corporation and its subsidiaries (MPC) and third parties, for which it is paid operating fees.

The Company’s assets consist of a 51 % partner interest in Pipe Line Holdings, an entity which owns a 100.0% interest in Marathon Pipe Line LLC (MPL) and Ohio River Pipe Line LLC (ORPL), which in turn own: a network of pipeline systems, which includes approximately 962 miles of common carrier crude oil pipelines and approximately 1,819 miles of common carrier product pipelines extending across nine states. This network includes approximately 153 miles of common carrier crude oil and product pipelines, which it operates under long-term leases with third parties; a barge dock located on the Mississippi River near Wood River, Illinois, and crude oil and product tank farms located in Patoka, Wood River and Martinsville, Illinois and Lebanon, Indiana; and a 100.0% interest in a butane cavern located in Neal, West Virginia, which serves MPC’s Catlettsburg, Kentucky refinery.

Crude Oil Pipeline Systems

The Company’s crude oil pipeline systems and related assets are positioned to support c rude oil supply options for MPC’s Midwest refineries, whic! h receive imported and domestic crude oil through a range of sources. Imported and domestic crude oil is transported to supply hubs in Wood River and Patoka, Illinois from a range of regions, including Cushing, Oklahoma on the Ozark pipeline system; Western Canada, Wyoming and North Dakota on the Keystone, Platte, Mustang and Enbridge pipeline systems, and the Gulf Coast on the Capline crude oil pipeline system.

The Company’s Patoka to Lima crude system is comprised of approximately 76 miles of 20-inch pipeline extending from Patoka, Illinois to Martinsville, Illinois, and approximately 226 miles of 22-inch pipeline extending from Martinsville to Lima, Ohio. This system also includes associated breakout tankage. Crude oil delivered on this system to MPC’s tank farm in Lima can then be shipped to MPC’s Canton, Ohio refinery through MPC’s Lima to Canton pipeline, to MPC’s Detroit refinery through MPC’s undivided joint interest portion of the Maumee pi peline, and its Samaria to Detroit pipeline, or to other third-party refineries owned by BP, Husky Energy, and PBF Energy in Lima and Toledo, Ohio.

The Company’s Catlettsburg and Robinson crude system is consisted of the pipelines: Patoka to Robinson and Patoka to Catlettsburg. Its Patoka to Robinson pipeline consists of approximately 78 miles of 20-inch pipeline, which delivers crude oil from Patoka, Illinois to MPC’s Robinson, Illinois refinery. Its Patoka to Catlettsburg pipeline consists of approximately 140 miles of 20-inch pipeline extending from Patoka, Illinois to Owensboro, Kentucky, and approximately 266 miles of 24-inch pipeline extending from Owensboro to MPC’s Catlettsburg, Kentucky refinery. Crude oil can enter this pipeline at Patoka, and into the Owensboro to Catlettsburg portion of the pipelines at Lebanon Junction, Kentucky, from the third-party Mid-Valley system.

The Company’s Detroit crude system is consisted of Samaria to Detroit and Romulus to Detroit. Its Samaria to Detroit pi! peline co! nsists of approximately 44 miles of 16-inch pipeline that delivers crude oil from Samaria, Michigan to MPC’s Detroit, Michigan refinery. This pipeline includes a tank farm and crude oil truck offloading facility located at Samaria.

The Company’s Romulus to Detroit pipeline consists of approximately 17 miles of 16-inch pipeline extending from Romulus, Michigan to MPC’s Detroit, Michigan refinery. Its Wood River to Patoka crude system is consisted of two pipelines: Wood River to Patoka and Roxanna to Patoka. Its Wood River to Patoka pipeline consists of approximately 57 miles of 22-inch pipeline, which delivers crude oil received in Wood River, Illinois from the third-party Platte and Ozark pipeline systems to Patoka, Illinois.

The Company’s Roxanna to Patoka pipeline consists of approximately 58 miles of 12-inch pipeline, which transports crude oil received in Roxanna, Illinois from the Ozark pipeline system to its tank farm in Patoka, Illi nois.

Product Pipeline Systems

The Company’s product pipeline systems are positioned to transport products from five of MPC’s refineries to MPC’s marketing operations, as well as those of third parties. These pipeline systems also supply feedstocks to MPC’s Midwest refineries. These product pipeline systems are integrated with MPC’s expansive network of refined product marketing terminals, which support MPC’s integrated midstream business.

The Company’s Gulf Coast product pipeline systems include Garyville products system and Texas City products system. The Company’s Garyville products system is consisted of approximately 70 miles of 20-inch pipeline, which delivers refined products from MPC’s Garyville, Louisiana refinery to either the Plantation Pipeline in Baton Rouge, Louisiana or the MPC Zachary breakout tank farm in Zachary, Louisiana, and approximately two miles of 36-inch pipeline that delivers refined product s from the MPC tank farm to Colonial Pipeline in Zachary.

The Company’s Texas City products system is comprised of approximately 39 miles of 16-inch pipeline that delivers refined products from refineries owned by MPC, BP and Valero in Texas City, Texas to MPC’s Pasadena breakout tank farm and third-party terminals in Pasadena, Texas. The system also includes approximately three miles of 30- and 36-inch pipeline that delivers refined products from MPC’s Pasadena breakout tank farm to the third-party TEPPCO and Centennial pipeline systems.

The Company’s Midwest product pipeline systems include Ohio River Pipe Line (ORPL) products system, Robinson products system and Louisville Airport products system. The Company’s ORPL products system is consisted of Kenova to Columbus, Canton to East Sparta, East Sparta to Heath, East Sparta to Midland, Heath to Dayton, and Heath to Findlay.

The Company’s Kenova to Columbus pipeline consists of approximately 150 miles of 14-inch pipeline that delivers refi ned products from MPC’s Catlettsburg refinery to MPC’s Columbus, Ohio area terminals. Its Canton to East Sparta pipeline consists of two parallel pipelines, which connect MPC’s Canton, Ohio refinery with its East Sparta, Ohio breakout tankage and station. The first pipeline consists of approximately 8.5 miles of six-inch pipeline that delivers products (distillates) from Canton to East Sparta. The second pipeline consists of approximately 8.5 miles of six-inch bi-directional pipeline, which can deliver products (gasoline) from Canton to East Sparta or light petroleum-based feedstocks from East Sparta to Canton.

The Company’s East Sparta to Heath pipeline consists of approximately 81 miles of eight-inch pipeline that delivers products from its East Sparta, Ohio breakout tankage and station to MPC’s terminal in Heath, Ohio. The Company’s East Sparta to Midland pipeline consists of approximately 62 miles of eight-inch bi-directional pipeline, which can deliver products and light petroleum-based feedstocks betwe! en its br! eak-out tankage and station in East Sparta, Ohio and MPC’s terminal in Midland, Pennsylvania. MPC’s Midland terminal has a marketing load rack and is able to connect to other Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-area terminals through a pipeline owned by Buckeye Pipe Line Company, L.P. and a river loading/unloading dock for products and petroleum feedstocks. This pipeline can also transport products to MPC’s terminals in Steubenville and Youngstown, Ohio through a connection at West Point, Ohio with a pipeline owned by MPC.

The Company’s Heath to Dayton pipeline consists of approximately 108 miles of six-inch pipeline, which delivers products from MPC’s terminals in Heath, Ohio and Columbus, Ohio to terminals owned by CITGO and Sunoco Logistics Partners, L.P. in Dayton, Ohio. This pipeline is bi-directional between Heath and Columbus for product deliveries. Its Heath to Findlay consists of approximately 100 miles of eight- and 10-inch pipeline, which delivers pro ducts from MPC’s terminal in Heath, Ohio to MPC’s pipeline break-out tankage and terminal in Findlay, Ohio. Robinson products system is consisted of Robinson to Lima, Robinson to Louisville, Robinson to Mt. Vernon, Wood River to Clermont, Dieterich to Martinsville and Wabash Pipeline System.

The Company’s Robinson to Lima pipeline consists of approximately 250 miles of 10-inch pipeline, which delivers products from MPC’s Robinson, Illinois refinery to MPC terminals in Indianapolis, Indiana, as well as to MPC terminals in Muncie, Indiana and Lima, Ohio. Its Robinson to Louisville pipeline consists of approximately 129 miles of 16-inch pipeline, which delivers products from MPC’s Robinson, Illinois refinery to two MPC and multiple third-party terminals in Louisville, Kentucky. In addition, these products can supply MPC and Valero terminals in Lexington, Kentucky through the Louisville to Lexington pipeline system owned by MPC and Valero.

Th e Company’s Robinson to Mt. Vernon pipeline consists of ap! proximate! ly 79 miles of 10-inch pipeline that delivers products from MPC’s Robinson, Illinois refinery to a MPC terminal located on the Ohio River in Mt. Vernon, Indiana. It leases this pipeline from a third party under a long-term lease. The Company’s Wood River to Clermont pipeline consists of approximately 153 miles of 10-inch pipeline extending from MPC’s terminal in Wood River, Illinois to Martinsville, Illinois, and approximately 156 miles of 10-inch pipeline extending from Martinsville, Illinois to Clermont, Indiana. This pipeline also includes approximately 9.5 miles of pipelines utilized for the local movement of products in and around Wood River, Illinois, and Clermont, Indiana.

The Company’s Dieterich to Martinsville pipeline consists of approximately 40 miles of 10-inch pipeline, which delivers products from the termination point of Centennial Pipeline to Martinsville, Illinois. From Martinsville, these products (including refinery feedstocks) can be distributed to MPC’s Robinson, Illinois refinery or to other destinations through our other pipeline systems. Its Wabash Pipeline System consists of three interconnected pipeline pipelines: approximately 130 miles of 12-inch pipeline extending from MPC’s terminal in Wood River, Illinois to Champaign, Illinois (the West leg); approximately 86 miles of 12-inch pipeline extending from MPC’s Robinson, Illinois refinery to Champaign (the East leg), and approximately 140 miles of 12- and 16-inch pipeline extending from the junction with the East and West legs in Champaign to MPC’s terminals in Griffith, Indiana and Hammond, Indiana. This pipeline system delivers products to MPC’s tanks at Martinsville, Champaign, Griffith and Hammond. This pipeline system also delivers products to tanks owned by Meier Oil Company at Ashkum, Illinois. The Wabash Pipeline System connects to other pipeline systems in the Chicago area through a portion of the system located beyond MPC’s G riffith terminal. The Company’s Louisville airport product! s system ! consists of approximately 14 miles of eight- and six-inch pipeline, which delivers jet fuel from MPC’s Louisville, Kentucky refined product terminals to customers at the Louisville International Airport.

Other Major Midstream Assets

The Company’s butane cavern is located in Neal, West Virginia, across the Big Sandy River from MPC’s Catlettsburg, Kentucky refinery. This storage cavern has approximately 1.0 million barrels of storage capacity and is connected to MPC’s Catlettsburg refinery. Rail access to the storage cavern is also available through connections with the refinery.

The Company’s barge dock is located on the Mississippi River in Wood River, Illinois and is used both for crude oil barge loading and products barge unloading. The barge dock is connected to its Wood River tank farm by approximately two miles of 14-inch pipeline, which transfers crude oil from the tank farm to the dock, and two 10-inch pipelines, which are each approximately two miles long and transfer products and feedstocks from the dock to the tank farm. This dock generates revenue through a FERC tariff, which is collected for the transfer and loading/unloading of crude oil and products. It also owns tank farms located in Patoka, Martinsville and Wood River, Illinois and Lebanon, Indiana, which it uses for storing both crude oil and products. These storage assets are integral to the operation of its pipeline systems in those areas.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Robert Rapier]

    Two things PSXP has going for it are that it has no debt, and is likely to be able to grow future distributions. But there are other midstream MLPs that have little or no debt and are also in position to grow distributions, but with a higher yield than PSXP. Marathon Petroleum’s (NYSE: MPC) midstream affiliate MPLX (NYSE: MPLX) also has essentially no debt, but a slightly higher yield of 2.9 percent.

  • [By Dan Caplinger]

    In Marathon’s quarterly report, watch for how the refiner’s relationship with spun-off midstream pipeline operator MPLX (NYSE: MPLX  ) is faring. With Marathon holding a majority stake in MPLX, its pipeline assets will play an increasingly important role in bringing midcontinent energy products to its refineries.

  • [By Aimee Duffy]

    Phillips 66 (NYSE: PSX  ) and its master limited partnership Phillips 66 Partners (NYSE: PSXP  ) have made the headlines recently, because of how high PSXP climbed during its first day of trading. It isn’t the first refiner to find success with an MLP spinoff — Marathon Petroleum’s (NYSE: MPC  ) spinoff MPLX (NYSE: MPLX  ) is up more than 16% year to date — and it doesn’t look as if it will be the last. In this video, Fool.com contributor Aimee Duffy looks at Valero’s (NYSE: VLO  ) recent affirmation of its plan to convert its logistics assets into an MLP.

Top 5 Transportation Companies To Watch For 2015: Phillips 66 Partners LP (PSXP)

Phillips 66 Partners LP, incorporated on February 20, 2013, owns, operates, develops and acquires primarily fee-based crude oil, refined petroleum product and natural gas liquids (NGL) pipelines and terminals and other transportation and midstream assets. The Company’s initial assets consist of the three systems, which include Clifton Ridge crude system, Sweeny to Pasadena products system and Hartford Connector products system. A refined petroleum product pipeline, terminal and storage system extending from Phillips 66’s Sweeny refinery in Old Ocean, Texas, to its refined petroleum product terminal in Pasadena, Texas, and ultimately connecting to the Explorer and Colonial refined petroleum product pipeline systems and other third-party pipeline and terminal systems.

A crude oil pipeline, terminal and storage system located in Sulphur, Louisiana, that is the primary source for delivery of crude oil to Phillips 66’s Lake Charles refinery. A refined petrol eum product pipeline, terminal and storage system located in Hartford, Illinois, that distributes diesel and gasoline produced at the Wood River refinery (a refinery owned by a joint venture between Phillips 66 and Cenovus Energy Inc.) to third-party pipeline and terminal systems, including the Explorer refined petroleum product pipeline system.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Robert Rapier]

    Performance so far has been consistent with the advances enjoyed by most of the MLP IPOs over the past year. In fact a few of them made major advances. As discussed in last week’s article No Letup for Last Year’s Top IPO, the best performing MLP of the year so far is Phillips 66 Partners (NYSE: PSXP), which came public last summer and is up 48 percent year-to-date. Of course, there are some exceptions. Marlin Midstream Partners (Nasdaq: FISH) conducted its IPO three days after Phillips 66 Partners last year, and it has traded below its IPO price since.  

  • [By Robert Rapier]

    MLPs have been on a tear lately, and one of the hottest of them all has been Phillips 66 Partners (NYSE: PSXP). The partnership is comprised of midstream assets dropped down from its sponsor, the refiner Phillips 66 (NYSE: PSX).

  • [By Grace L. Williams]

    Pipeline MLP Phillips 66 (PSXP) made our list after COO J.T. Liberti bought 4,100 shares for $182,000. InsiderScore noted that Liberti also bought at the company’s IPO in July 2013, and writes: “Shares have doubled from their IPO price seven months ago and so Liberti’s move to add to his position on strength is an incremental positive.”

Top 5 Transportation Companies To Watch For 2015: FedEx Corporation(FDX)

FedEx Corporation provides transportation, e-commerce, and business services in the United States and internationally. It operates in four segments: FedEx Express, FedEx Ground, FedEx Freight, and FedEx Services. The FedEx Express segment offers various shipping services for the delivery of packages and freight. This segment also provides international trade services specializing in customs brokerage, and ocean and air freight forwarding services; customs clearance services, as well as global trade data, an information tool that allows customers to track and manage imports; and international trade advisory services, including assistance with the customs-trade partnership against terrorism program, as well as publishes customs duty and tax information in various customs areas. In addition, it offers supply chain solutions, including critical inventory logistics, transportation management, fulfillment, and fleet services. The FedEx Ground segment provides business and reside ntial ground package delivery services. It primarily serves customers in the small-package market in North America. The FedEx Freight segment offers less-than-truckload freight services, as well as freight-shipping services. As of May 31, 2010, this segment operated approximately 60,000 vehicles and trailers from a network of 492 service centers. The FedEx Services segment provides sales, marketing, information technology support, and customer service support services; and access to copying and digital printing through retail and Web-based platforms, signs and graphics, professional finishing, computer rentals, and a range of ground shipping and time-definite express shipping services. The company was founded in 1971 and is headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Anna Prior]

    Warren Buffett-led Berkshire Hathaway Inc.(BRKB) said first-quarter profit fell, driven by lower net income at two of its major businesses, a reinsurance unit and the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad. FedEx Corp.(FDX) said it would raise its freight-delivery fuel surcharge for some deliveries and next year start charging for ground delivery based on package volume for all packages.

  • [By Douglas A. McIntyre]

    Some traditional brand powerhouses have lost ground in the Top 100 since 2009. These include BMW, FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) and Colgate-Palmolive Co. (NYSE: CL).

  • [By tyokunbo]

    FedEx Corporation (FDX) provides customers with a portfolio of transportation, e-commerce, and business solutions. With annual revenues of $45 billion, the company operates in four segments. They are FedEx Express, FedEx Ground, FedEx Freight, and FedEx Services. The company provides business applications through its segments. FedEx consistently ranks among the world’s most admired employers, with more than 300,000 team members. It was founded in 1971 and is headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee.

  • [By Rich Bieglmeier]

    [Related -FedEx Corporation (FDX): George Soros And John Paulson Own This Stock. Should You?]

    Along with EPS rising an expected 22.76%, sales are forecasted to increase 4.6%. The consensus revenue estimate for Q3 is $11.46 billion, up from last year’s $10.95 billion.

Top 5 Transportation Companies To Watch For 2015: CSX Corporation (CSX)

CSX Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, provides rail-based transportation services. The company offers traditional rail service, and the transport of intermodal containers and trailers. It transports crushed stone, sand and gravel, metal, phosphate, fertilizer, food, consumer, agricultural, automotive, paper, and chemical products; and utility, industrial, and export coal to electricity-generating power plants, steel manufacturers, industrial plants, and deep-water port facilities. The company also provides intermodal transportation services through a network of approximately 50 terminals transporting manufactured consumer goods in containers in the eastern United States, as well as performs drayage services and trucking dispatch operations. In addition, it operates distribution centers and storage locations; connects non-rail served customers to the benefits of rail by transferring products, such as ethanol and minerals, from rail to trucks; engages in the real estate sale, leasing, acquisition, and management and development activities. CSX Corporation operates approximately 21,000 route mile rail network, which serves various population centers in 23 states east of the Mississippi River, the District of Columbia, and the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec, as well as operates approximately 4,000 locomotives. It also serves production and distribution facilities through track connections to approximately 240 short-line and regional railroads. CSX Corporation was founded in 1978 and is based in Jacksonville, Florida.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Marc Bastow]

    Rail transportation services provider CSX (CSX) raised its quarterly dividend 6.67% to 16 cents per share.
    Payout Date: June 13
    Ex-Dividend Date: May 23
    CSX Dividend Yield: 2.27%

  • [By Sue Chang]

    Railroad operator CSX Corp.’s (CSX)  first-quarter profit fell to 40 cents a share from 45 cents a share a year ago while revenue rose 2% to $3.01 billion.Analysts surveyed by FactSet had expected the Jacksonville, Fla.-based company to earn 37 cents a share. The board also approved a 7% hike in quarterly dividend to 16 cents a share. Shares of CSX were up 1% in after hours.

  • [By Vanina Egea]

    Another characteristic that separates operators in the U.S. from those in Canada is the geographic presence. Both Canadian operators compete along the same routes, but in the U.S., companies are assigned to regions. Hence, CSX (CSX) only operates railways from north to south, between the Mississippi River and the Atlantic Ocean. Most importantly, the firm operates no railway along the Mississippi River, and routes are intended to connect the delta with the ocean and vice versa. Nonetheless, four gurus have taken new positions in the railway operator during the last quarter of 2013. Are they looking for a long-term investment? Should you?

Top 5 Transportation Companies To Watch For 2015: Saia Inc.(SAIA)

Saia, Inc., an asset-based trucking company, provides transportation and supply chain solutions primarily to the retail, chemical, and manufacturing industries in the United States. The company, through it subsidiary, Saia Motor Freight Line, LLC, offers regional and interregional less than truckload (LTL) services, selected national LTL, and time-definite services. It was formerly known as SCS Transportation, Inc. Saia, Inc. was founded in 2000 and is headquartered in Johns Creek, Georgia.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By John Udovich]

    Despite what can best be described as a soft economy, small cap trucking stocks YRC Worldwide, Inc (NASDAQ: YRCW), Arkansas Best Corporation (NASDAQ: ABFS), Frozen Food Express Industries, Inc (NASDAQ: FFEX), Saia Inc (NASDAQ: SAIA) and USA Truck, Inc (NASDAQ: USAK) have been trucking some pretty impressive returns since the start of the year. In fact, these small cap trucking stocks are up anywhere from 72% to 150% or so since the start of the year despite the slow economy. Certainly trucking stocks provide a good indicator of how the economy is doing, but might investors be jumping the gun by pushing up these trucking stocks?