Top Transportation Stocks To Buy For 2015

Although we don’t believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes — just in case they’re material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of ViroPharma (NASDAQ: VPHM  ) , a biotechnology company specializing in treating rare diseases, rose as much as 14% after a report from Reuters noted preliminary buyout interest in the company.

So what: According to the report, three people familiar with the matter commented that several companies have shown early interest in acquiring ViroPharma to get a hold of its orphan drug pipeline, which includes hereditary angioedema drug Cinryze. The report also notes that ViroPharma is not currently pursuing a sale of the company.

Now what: I told you that you need to keep a close eye on ViroPharma! Cinryze sales still have plenty of room to run higher, and maribavir appears to be back from the dead. If maribavir’s higher dosing proves effective enough in trials to gain approval, it, too, could add an additional $300 million in peak sales to ViroPharma’s top line. While I wouldn’t put too much faith in today’s rumors that ViroPharma is on the auction block, I would certainly use this as an opportunity to get better acquainted with the company and its unique pipeline.

Top Transportation Stocks To Buy For 2015: Union Pacific Corporation(UNP)

Union Pacific Corporation, through its subsidiary, Union Pacific Railroad Company, provides rail transportation services in North America. It has approximately 31,953 route miles linking Pacific Coast and Gulf Coast ports with the Midwest and eastern United States gateways, and provides several corridors to Mexican gateways. The company offers freight transportation services for agricultural products, including whole grains and related commodities, food, beverage products, corn for ethanol products and its by-products, animal feeds, fruits and vegetables, frozen meat, and poultry products; and automotive products, such as imported and finished vehicles, and automotive parts and materials. It also provides transportation services for chemicals, such as industrial chemicals, plastics, and liquid petroleum products; energy products comprising coal and coke; industrial products, including lumber products, paper and consumer goods, furniture and appliances, and nonferrous and i ndustrial minerals, as well as steel and construction products, such as rock, cement, and roofing materials; and intermodal containers. Union Pacific Corporation was founded in 1862 and is based in Omaha, Nebraska.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Erin McCarthy]

    Union Pacific Corp.(UNP) unveiled a two-for-one stock split and said it will increase this year’s capital spending to $4.1 billion.

    Carmike Cinemas Inc.(CKEC), the nation’s fourth-largest movie theater chain, said Thursday it is acquiring Digital Cinema Destinations Corp.(DCIN), a smaller rival that does business as Digiplex.

  • [By Chad Fraser]

    The winter of 2013/2014 was one most transportation companies—including railroads—would probably like to forget.

    As the so-called polar vortex lashed the Midwest, Northeast and much of Canada, many railways were forced to shorten their train lengths and their crews’ exposure to the frigid temperatures. The weather also delayed numerous shipments, which weighed on some railways’ first quarter profits.

    CSX Corp. (NYSE: CSX), for example, cited the brutal winter as the main reason why its first quarter earnings fell 13.9% from a year earlier. The company said the weather cost it $0.08 to $0.09 a share in higher expenses and lost revenue.

    Polar Vortex Couldn’t Keep Union Pacific Down

    One railway that managed to prosper despite the wild winter was Union Pacific (NYSE: UNP), a recommendation of our Personal Finance newsletter.

    Union Pacific’s roots go all the way back to the Civil War, when President Lincoln approved the Pacific Rai lroad Act of 1862 to encourage expansion in non-Confederate territories. Since then, it has grown through mergers and acquisitions, including the Southern Pacific, Missouri Pacific and Western Pacific railroads.

    Today, the company operates a 32,000-mile freight network in the western two-thirds of the country, where it spans 23 states.

    Union Pacific’s revenue is well-diversified across six different categories of freight: intermodal, or containers that can be loaded onto ships, trucks or trains (20% of 2013 revenue); coal (19%); industrial products (18%); agricultural (16%); chemicals, including oil from U.S. shale plays like the Bakken, Permian and Eagle Ford (17%); and automotive (10%).

    Despite the wintry blast—and an earlier caution from the company that the severe winter would affect its profits—its first quarter net income rose 13.7% from a year earlier, to $1.09 billion. Per-share earnings gained 17.2%, to $2.38, on a lower share count due to Union Pacific’s on

Top Transportation Stocks To Buy For 2015: Marlin Midstream Partners LP (FISH)

Marlin Midstream Partners, LP, incorporated on April 19, 2013, develops, owns, operates and acquires midstream energy assets. The Company provides natural gas gathering, transportation, treating and processing services and One million cubic feet (NGL) transportation services, which it refer to as its midstream natural gas business, and crude oil transloading services, which it refer to as its crude oil logistics business. The Company operates in two segments: Midstream Natural Gas and Crude Oil Logistics. Its primary midstream natural gas assets consist of two related natural gas processing facilities located in Panola County, Texas; a natural gas processing facility located in Tyler County, Texas; two natural gas gathering systems connected to its Panola County processing facilities, and two NGL transportation pipelines that connect its Panola County and Tyler County processing facilities to third party NGL pipelines.

Midstream Natural Gas

The C ompany’s primary midstream natural gas assets consist of two related natural gas processing facilities located in Panola County, Texas with an approximate design capacity of 220 One million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d), a natural gas processing facility located in Tyler County, Texas with an approximate design capacity of 80 MMcf/d, two natural gas gathering systems connected to its Panola County processing facilities that include approximately 65 miles of natural gas pipelines with an approximate design capacity of 200 MMcf/d, and two NGL transportation pipelines with an approximate design capacity of 20,000 Stock tank barrel per day (Bbls/d) that connect its Panola County and Tyler County processing facilities to third party NGL pipelines. Its primary midstream natural gas assets are located in long-lived oil and natural gas producing regions in East Texas and gather and process NGL-rich natural gas streams associated with production primarily from the Cotton Valley Sands, Haynesville Shale, Austin Chalk and Eaglebine formations.

Crude Oil Logistics

The Company’s crude oil logistics assets consist of two crude oil transloading facilities: its Wildcat facility located in Carbon County, Utah, where it operates one skid transloader and two ladder transloaders, and its Big Horn facility located in Big Horn County, Wyoming, where the Company operates one skid transloader and one ladder transloader. Its transloaders are used to unload crude oil from tanker trucks and load crude oil into railcars and temporary storage tanks. It’s Wildcat and Big Horn facilities provide transloading services for production originating from well-established crude oil producing basins, such as the Uinta and Powder River Basins. Its skid transloaders each have a transloading capacity of 475 Stock tank barrel per hour (Bbls/hr), and its ladder transloaders each have a transloading capacity of 210 Bbls/hr.

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 Marc Bastow]

    Mid-stream energy asset manager Marlin Midstream Partners (FISH) raised its quarterly dividend 1% to 35.5 cents per share payable May 6 to shareholders of record May 1. At nearly an 8% dividend yield, FISH is the highest yielder of this week’s dividend stocks.
    FISH Dividend Yield: 7.85%

  • [By Robert Rapier] In last week’s MLP Investing Insider (MLPII) I took a look at the MLP IPOs from the first half of 2013. Today I review the half dozen that have debuted in the second half of 2013.

    Phillips 66 Partners (NYSE: PSXP) launched on July 23 as one of the most anticipated IPOs this year. PSXP owns some of the midstream logistics assets of its sponsor, Phillips 66 (NYSE: PSX). PSXP has yet to announce its first distribution, but according to the IPO prospectus the minimum yield will be $0.85 per unit on an annualized basis. At the current unit price, this equates to a minimum annual yield of 2.8 percent, which is mainly a function of the huge run-up in unit price between the IPO pricing and today’s unit price. If the distribution does come in near the minimum, the unit price will almost certainly correct downward following the announcement.

    Marlin Midstream Partners (Nasdaq: FISH) launched on July 26. The partnership provides natural gas gathering, transporta tion, treating and processing services, NGL transportation services and crude oil transloading services. Marlin’s assets include three natural gas processing facilities in Texas, two natural gas gathering systems, two NGL transportation pipelines, and two crude oil transloading facilities. Marlin expects most of the gross margin to be generated under fee-based, minimum volume commercial agreements.

    Marlin targets a coverage ratio of 1.10x to support distributions. Marlin’s partnership agreement provides for a minimum quarterly distribution of $0.35 per unit for each whole quarter, or $1.40 per unit on an annualized basis. The prorated distribution for the two months of the recently concluded quarter since tje IPO should be announced soon. The minimum annual yield based on the current unit price is projected at 7.7 percent. The unit price has declined 6 percent since the IPO.

  • [By Aimee Duffy]

    The surge of master limited partnership initial public offerings continued this week, as Phillips 66 Partners (NYSE: PSXP  ) and Marlin Midstream Partners  (NASDAQ: FISH  ) commenced trading. In this video, Fool.com contributor Aimee Duffy looks at both of these IPOs, breaking down the potential opportunities for investors.

Top Transportation Stocks To Buy For 2015: Snam SpA (SRG)

Snam SpA is an Italy-based company engaged in the management of natural gas services. The Company is diversified into four operating segments. The Transportation segment covers transportation-related gas services, including capacity management and transportation of the gas at the entry points of the gas network to the redelivery points. It owns transportation infrastructures of gas pipelines. The Regasification segment is focused on extraction activities of natural gas, its liquefaction for transport by ship and subsequent regasification. The Storage segment covers deposits, gas treatment plants, compression plants and the operational dispatching system. The Distribution segment engages gas distribution through local transportation networks from delivery points at the metering and reduction stations to the gas distribution network redelivery points at the end customers. Additionally, Snam SpA as the parent company, focuses on planning, management, coordination and control of the group. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Victor Selva]

    The Specialty Restaurant Group (SRG), which includes Bahama Breeze and The Capital Grille, has grown over the last couple of quarters. Eddie V’s Restaurants and Yard House might be meaningful long-term drivers, as we think most of the growth in the next years will come from the acquisition of those restaurants.

  • [By Tom Stoukas]

    Snam SpA (SRG) dropped the most in almost a year as Eni SpA sold an 11.7 percent stake in the owner of Italy’s biggest natural-gas network. Wm Morrison Supermarkets Plc tumbled the most in more than 14 months. Experian Plc jumped to a record after the world’s largest credit-checking company raised its dividend and announced a share buyback.

Top Transportation Stocks To Buy For 2015: Rhino Resource Partners LP(RNO)

Rhino Resource Partners LP produces, processes, and sells coal of various steam and metallurgical grades in the United States. The company holds interests in various surface and underground coal mines located in Central Appalachia, Northern Appalachia, the Illinois Basin, and the Western Bituminous region. As of December 31, 2010, it operated 10 mines, including 5 underground and 5 surface mines located in Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia. The company markets its steam coal primarily to electric utility companies as fuel for their steam-powered generators; and metallurgical coal for steel and coke producers. It also engages in mining limestone from reserves located at its Sands Hill mining complex and sells it as aggregate to various construction companies and road builders. The company was founded in 2003 and is based in Lexington, Kentucky.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Robert Rapier]

    The National Association of Publicly Traded Partnerships (NAPTP) lists five MLPs in the category “Natural Resources – Coal,” although two of the five are Alliance Holdings (NYSE: AHGP) and its operating affiliate, Alliance Resource Partners (NYSE: ARLP). The other three are Natural Resource Partners (NYSE: NRP), Rhino Resource Partners (NYSE: RNO), and Oxford Resource Partners (NYSE: OXF).

  • [By Namitha Jagadeesh]

    Peugeot gained 3.7 percent to 10.61 euros after two people familiar with the matter said CEO Philippe Varin plans to step down next year and hire former Renault SA (RNO) Chief Operating Officer Carlos Tavares as his replacement. Pierre-Olivier Salmon, a Peugeot spokesman, declined to comment. Europe’s second-largest carmaker is also likely to benefit from the Iran accord. Peugeot sold 458,000 vehicles in Iran in 2011, before the trade sanctions, making it the company’s second-biggest market after France.

  • [By Dorothee Tschampa]

    Volkswagen AG (VOW) (VOW), PSA Peugeot Citroen (UG) and Renault SA (RNO) (RNO), Europe’s three largest carmakers, all dropped 5 percent or more after preliminary data showed Chinese manufacturing is unexpectedly contracting.

Top Transportation Stocks To Buy For 2015: Norfolk Souther Corporation(NSC)

Norfolk Southern Corporation, through its subsidiaries, engages in the rail transportation of raw materials, intermediate products, and finished goods primarily in the United States. The company transports coal products, such as coal, coke, and iron ore; automotive products, including finished vehicles and auto parts; chemicals products consisting of sulfur and related chemicals, petroleum products, chlorine and bleaching compounds, plastics, rubber, industrial chemicals, chemical wastes, and municipal wastes; metals and construction products comprising steel, aluminum products, machinery, scrap metals, cement, aggregates, bricks, and minerals; and paper, clay, and forest products, including lumber and wood products, pulp board and paper products, wood fibers, wood pulp, scrap paper, and clay. It also transports agriculture, consumer, and government products, such as soybeans, wheat, corn, fertilizer, animal and poultry feed, food oils, flour, beverages, canned goods, swee teners, consumer products, ethanol, and items for the military. In addition, it engages in the intermodal operations that include moving of shipments in trailers, the United States and international containers, and roadrailer equipment. Further, the company transports overseas freight through various Atlantic and Gulf Coast ports, as well as provides a range of logistics services; and operates passenger and commuter trains. Additionally, it involves in the acquisition, leasing, and management of coal, oil, gas, and minerals; the development of commercial real estate; telecommunications; and the leasing or sale of rail property and equipment. As of December 31, 2010, the company operated approximately 20,000 route miles in 22 states and the District of Columbia. The company was founded in 1883 and is based in Norfolk, Virginia.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Vanina Egea]

    The transportation industry is one of the most exposed to oil prices increments. Fixed way transport however, is also especially affected by weather. There is no clearer example than Canadian railroad companies today. There is a record wheat harvest to be carried, but the impossibility to pick up the rails and relocate them away from bad weather, continue to slow grain arrivals. Most importantly, some oil is being transported through rails increasing demand for cars. The situation prompted the intervention of government authorities and drafting of a bill to regulate rail transportation. Responses to the initiative have not been uniform, and while railroad operators bashed the project, terminal lifters have supported it. Last, some traffic will be deviated south, through the US in order to meet stipulated transported quotas. Did gurus anticipate the move? Can it explain the reason for heavy investing on Norfolk Southern (NSC)?

  • [By Teresa Rivas]

    Oglenski and Mori also cut their price target on Norfolk Southern (NSC) by $1 to $100, a reflection of their trimmed earnings forecasts, also related to their outlook for coal. They rate Norfolk Southern at Equal Weight.

  • [By Mani]

    Norfolk Southern Corp. (NYSE:NSC) is well positioned for a pickup in truckload rates, and an improvement in truckload rates should be positive for intermodal pricing.

  • [By Marc Bastow]

    Railroad operator Norfolk Southern (NSC) raised its quarterly dividend 3.8% to 54 cents per share, payable on Mar. 10 to shareholders of record as of Feb. 7.
    NSC Dividend Yield: 2.37%

Top Transportation Stocks To Buy For 2015: Canadian Pacific Railway Limited(CP)

Canadian Pacific Railway Limited, through its subsidiaries, operates as a transcontinental railway providing freight transportation services, logistics solutions, and supply chain expertise in Canada and the United States. It transports bulk commodities, including grain, coal, sulphur, and fertilizers; merchandise freight; finished vehicles and automotive parts; forest products, which include wood pulp, paper, paperboard, newsprint, lumber, panel, and oriented strand board; and industrial and consumer products comprising chemicals, energy, and plastics, as well as mine, metals, and aggregates. The company provides rail and intermodal transportation services over a network of approximately 14,700 miles serving the principal business centers of Canada, from Montreal to Vancouver, British Columbia; and the Midwest and Northeast regions of the United States. Canadian Pacific Railway Limited was founded in 1881 and is headquartered in Calgary, Canada.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Vanina Egea]

    Conditions for railroad operations in the U.S. do not look as good as on the other side of the Great Lakes. While Canadian National (CNI) and Canadian Pacific (CP) have wrestled with a greater demand and adverse environmental conditions — conditions that have sparked a heated debate at Congress — U.S. railroad operators lack the necessary demand to be noticed by the market.

  • [By Vanina Egea]

    Canada is being home to one of the hottest transport debates seen in the last decade. Surprisingly enough it is far from legislating over auto pilots, bio fuels or frisking. The focus of Bill C-30, according to the Calgary Herald, is “federal legislation aimed at getting more grain moving on the rails.” Canadian Pacific (CP)’s chief operating officer Keith Creel told a House of Commons committee, however, that he had a great concern over the bill’s real effect. Company representatives argue that giving shippers the ability to transfer traffic to alternate railways may indeed slow down the grain supply chain due to increased handlings.

Top Transportation Stocks To Buy For 2015: Nordic American Tanker Ltd (NAT)

Nordic American Tankers Limited is an international tanker company. As of December 31, 2011, the Company owned 20 Suezmax tankers. The Company’s vessels include Nordic Harrier, Nordic Hawk, Nordic Hunter, Nordic Voyager, Nordic Freedom, Nordic Fighter, Nordic Discovery, Nordic Saturn, Nordic Jupiter, Nordic Apollo and Nordic Moon. Its vessels also include Nordic Cosmos, Nordic Sprite, Nordic Grace, Nordic Mistral, Nordic Passat, Nordic Vega, Nordic Breeze, Nordic Aurora and Nordic Zenith. In September 2011, the Company acquired the vessel, Nordic Aurora. It chartered all of its vessels in the spot market pursuant to a cooperative arrangement with Gemini Tankers LLC until November 24, 2011. In November 2011, the Orion Tankers pool was established with Orion Tankers Ltd. as pool manager and its vessels were transferred from the Gemini Tankers LLC arrangement to the Orion Tankers pool. On December 17, 2012, the Company acquired 100% interest in Scandic American Shipping Ltd. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Robert Rapier]

    Nordic American Tanker (NYSE: NAT) is a Bermuda-based tanker company that acquires and charters double-hull tankers. Its fleet consists of 20 double-hull Suezmax tankers. Besides the factor you mention about more ships coming onto the market, NAT has underperformed — period. Shares have lost two-thirds of their value over the past five years, and the dividend has been cut multiple times.

  • [By Jake L’Ecuyer]

    Equities Trading DOWN
    Shares of Nordic American Tankers (NYSE: NAT) were down 10.08 percent to $7.98 after the company announced the pricing of follow-on offering.

Top Transportation Stocks To Buy For 2015: Boardwalk Pipeline Partners LP (BWP)

Boardwalk Pipeline Partners, LP is a limited partnership company. The Company owns and operates three interstate natural gas pipeline systems including integrated storage facilities. Its business is conducted by its primary subsidiary, Boardwalk Pipelines, LP (Boardwalk Pipelines) and its subsidiaries, Gulf Crossing Pipeline Company LLC (Gulf Crossing), Gulf South Pipeline Company, LP (Gulf South) and Texas Gas Transmission, LLC (Texas Gas) (together, the operating subsidiaries), which consist of integrated natural gas pipeline and storage systems. During the year ended December 31, 2011, it formed Boardwalk Midstream, LP (Midstream), and its operating subsidiary, Boardwalk Field Services, LLC (Field Services), which is engaged in the natural gas gathering and processing business. In December 2011, Boardwalk HP Storage Company, LLC (HP Storage), a joint venture between Boardwalk Pipelines and Boardwalk Pipelines Holding Corp. (BPHC) acquired Petal Gas Storage, L.L.C. (Peta l), Hattiesburg Gas Storage Company (Hattiesburg). In December 2011, it acquired a 20% equity interest in HP Storage.

The Company’s pipeline systems originate in the Gulf Coast region, Oklahoma and Arkansas and extend north and east to the midwestern states of Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio. It serves a mix of customers, including producers, local distribution companies (LDCs), marketers, electric power generators, direct industrial users and interstate and intrastate pipelines. The Company provides a portion of its pipeline transportation and storage services, through firm contracts, under which the Company’s customers pay monthly capacity reservation charges. Other charges are based on actual utilization of the capacity under firm contracts and contracts for interruptible services. During 2011, approximately 82% of its revenues were derived from capacity reservation charges under firm contracts; approximately 14% of its revenues were deriv ed from charges-based on actual utilization under firm contr! acts, and approximately 4% of its revenues were derived from interruptible transportation, interruptible storage, parking and lending (PAL) and other services. Its expansion projects include South Texas Eagle Ford Expansionand Marcellus Gathering System and HP Storage.

Pipeline and Storage Systems

The Company’s operating subsidiaries own and operate approximately 14,200 miles of pipelines, directly serving customers in twelve states and indirectly serving customers throughout the northeastern and southeastern United States through numerous interconnections with unaffiliated pipelines. In 2011, its pipeline systems transported approximately 2.7 trillion cubic feet of gas. Average daily throughput on its pipeline systems during 2011 was approximately 7.3 billion cubic feet. Its natural gas storage facilities are comprised of eleven underground storage fields located in four states with aggregate working gas capacity of approximately 167.0 billion cu bic feet. the Company operates the assets of HP Storage on behalf of the joint venture.

The principal sources of supply for our pipeline systems are regional supply hubs and market centers located in the Gulf Coast region, including offshore Louisiana, the Perryville, Louisiana area, the Henry Hub in Louisiana and the Carthage, Texas area. Its pipelines in the Carthage, Texas area provide access to natural gas supplies from the Bossier Sands, Barnett Shale, Haynesville Shale and other gas producing regions in eastern Texas and northern Louisiana. The Henry Hub serves as the designated delivery point for natural gas futures contracts traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Its pipeline systems also have access to unconventional mid-continent supplies, such as the Woodford Shale in southeastern Oklahoma and the Fayetteville Shale in Arkansas. The Company also accesses the Eagle Ford Shale in southern Texas; wellhead supplies in northern and southern Louisiana and Mississippi; and Canadian natural gas through an unaffil! iated pip! eline interconnect at Whitesville, Kentucky.

Gulf Crossing

The Company’s Gulf Crossing pipeline system originates near Sherman, Texas, and proceeds to the Perryville, Louisiana area. The market areas are in the Midwest, Northeast, Southeast and Florida through interconnections with Gulf South, Texas Gas and unaffiliated pipelines.

Gulf South

The Company’s Gulf South pipeline system is located along the Gulf Coast in the states of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. The on-system markets directly served by the Gulf South system are generally located in eastern Texas, Louisiana, southern Mississippi, southern Alabama, and the Florida Panhandle. These markets include LDCs and municipalities located across the system, including New Orleans, Louisiana; Jackson, Mississippi; Mobile, Alabama; and Pensacola, Florida, and other end-users located across the system, including the Baton Rouge to New Orleans industrial corridor and Lake Charles, Louisiana. Gulf South also has indirect access to off-system markets through numerous interconnections with unaffiliated interstate and intrastate pipelines and storage facilities. These pipeline interconnections provide access to markets throughout the northeastern and southeastern United States.

Gulf South has two natural gas storage facilities. The gas storage facility located in Bistineau, Louisiana, has approximately 78 billion cubic feet of working gas storage capacity from which Gulf South offers firm and interruptible storage service, including no-notice service. Gulf South’s Jackson, Mississippi, gas storage facility has approximately five billion cubic feet of working gas storage capacity, which is used for operational purposes and is not offered for sale to the market.

Texas Gas

The Company’s Texas Gas pipeline system originates in Louisiana, East Texas and Arkansas and runs north and east through Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, K! entucky, ! Indiana, and into Ohio, with smaller diameter lines extending into Illinois. Texas Gas directly serves LDCs, municipalities and power generators in its market area, which encompasses eight states in the South and Midwest and includes the Memphis, Tennessee; Louisville, Kentucky; Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio, and Evansville and Indianapolis, Indiana metropolitan areas. Texas Gas also has indirect market access to the Northeast through interconnections with unaffiliated pipelines. Texas Gas owns nine natural gas storage fields, of which it owns the majority of the working and base gas. Texas Gas uses this gas to meet the operational requirements of its transportation and storage customers and the requirements of its no-notice service customers.

Field Services

In 2011, the Company formed its Field Services subsidiary and transferred to it approximately 100 miles of gathering and transmission pipeline. In 2012, the Company transferred to Field Services a n additional 240 miles of pipeline and two compressor stations. Field Services is developing gathering and processing capabilities in south Texas and Pennsylvania.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Robert Rapier]

    Boardwalk Pipeline Partners (NYSE: BWP) is a midstream partnership with a focus on natural gas and natural gas liquids (NGLs), and until recently one of the constituents of the Alerian Natural Gas MLP Index. The partnership operates 14,450 miles of pipelines and underground storage caverns with an aggregate working gas capacity of 207 billion cubic feet (Bcf) and liquids capacity of 18 million barrels.

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    Boardwalk Pipeline Partners LP (NYSE: BWP) shares fell 1.10% to touch a new 52-week low of $12.11. Boardwalk Pipeline Partners will be removed from the Alerian Energy Infrastructure Index following the close of business on March 21.

  • [By Paul Ausick]

    The big news in the master limited partnership (MLP) world last week was the announcement by Boardwalk Pipeline Partners LP (NYSE: BWP) that it was cutting its quarterly distribution by 80%. The company’s market value was cut in half, and the price of Boardwalk’s common units fell from above $24 to below $13. For the rest of the week, investors have been trying to figure out which midstream company will be next or, alternatively, which companies offer the best chance of prospering.

  • [By Robert Rapier]

    This is, fortunately, an update not on a current portfolio holding but rather one on Boardwalk Pipeline Partners (NYSE: BWP), the MLP we recommended selling in November at near $28 and ahead of a continuing decline that cost investors another 13 percent as of Friday.

Top Transportation Stocks To Buy For 2015: Kirby Corp (KEX)

Kirby Corporation, incorporated on January 31, 1969, is a domestic tank barge operator, transporting bulk liquid products throughout the Mississippi River System, on the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, and along all three United States coasts and in Alaska and Hawaii. The Company transports petrochemicals, black oil products, refined petroleum products and agricultural chemicals by tank barge. The Company, through its subsidiaries, conducts operations in two business segments: marine transportation and diesel engine services. Through the diesel engine services segment, the Company provides after-market service for diesel engines and reduction gears used in marine and power generation applications. The Company also distributes and services diesel engines and transmissions, pumps and compression products, and manufactures oilfield service equipment, including hydraulic fracturing equipment, for land-based pressure pumping and oilfield service markets. The Company, through its ma rine transportation segment, is a provider of marine transportation services, operating tank barges and towing vessels transporting bulk liquid products throughout the Mississippi River System, on the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, and along all three United States coasts and in Alaska and Hawaii. On December 15, 2011, the Company completed the purchase of the coastal tank barge fleet of Seaboats, Inc. and affiliated companies (Seaboats). On July 1, 2011, the Company completed the acquisition of K-Sea Transportation Partners L.P. (K-Sea). On April 15, 2011, the Company purchased United Holdings LLC (United), a distributor and service provider of engine and transmission related products for the oil and gas services, power generation and on-highway transportation industries, and manufacturer of oilfield service equipment. On February 24, 2011, the Company acquired 21 inland and offshore tank barges and 15 inland towboats and offshore tugboats from Enterprise Marine Services LLC ( Enterprise). On February 9, 2011, the Company acquired from ! Kinder Morgan Petcoke, L.P. (Kinder Morgan).

The Company transports petrochemicals, black oil products, refined petroleum products, and agricultural chemicals by tank barge. The Company also owns and operates fits offshore dry-bulk barges and tugboats engaged in the coastal transportation of dry-bulk cargoes. It is a provider of transportation services for its customers. The Company, through its diesel engine services segment, sells replacement parts, provides service mechanics to overhaul and repair diesel engines, transmissions, reduction gears, pumps and compression products, maintains facilities to rebuild component parts or diesel engines, transmissions and reduction gears, and manufactures oilfield service equipment, including hydraulic fracturing equipment. The Company services the marine, power generation, oilfield service, and land-based oil and gas operator and producer markets.

Marine Transportation

The marine transportation segment is a provider of transportation services by tank barge for the inland and coastal markets. As of February 22, 2012, the equipment owned or operated by the marine transportation segment consisted of 819 inland tank barges, 236 inland towboats, 59 coastal tank barges, 65 coastal tugboats, fits offshore dry-cargo barges, fits offshore tugboats and one docking tugboat. The 236 inland towboats, 65 coastal tugboats, fits offshore tugboats and one docking tugboat provide the power source and the 819 inland tank barges, 59 coastal tank barges and fits offshore dry-cargo barges provide the freight capacity for the marine transportation segment. The Company’s coastal and offshore tows consist of one tugboat and one tank barge or dry-cargo barge.

During the year ended December 31, 2011, the Company’s inland marine transportation operation moved over 50 million tons of liquid cargo on the United States inland waterway system. Products transported for its custom ers along the inland waterway system consisted of petrochemi! cals, bla! ck oil products, refined petroleum products and agricultural chemicals. Bulk liquid petrochemicals transported include, such products as benzene, styrene, methanol, acrylonitrile, xylene and caustic soda, all consumed in the production of paper, fibers and plastics. During 2011, the transportation of petrochemical products represented 59% of the segment’s revenues. Customers shipping these products are refining and petrochemical companies. Black oil products transported include products, such as asphalt, residual fuel oil, No. 6 fuel oil, coker feedstock, vacuum gas oil, carbon black feedstock, crude oil and ship bunkers (engine fuel). During 2011, such products represented 20% of the segment’s revenues. During 2011, refined petroleum products transported include the various blends of finished gasoline, gasoline blendstocks, jet fuel, No. 2 oil, naphtha, heating oil and diesel fuel, and represented 16% of the segment’s revenues. The Company also classifies ethanol in t he refined petroleum product category. Customers are oil and refining companies, marketers and ethanol producers.

During 2011, agricultural chemicals transported represented 5% of the segment’s revenues. They include anhydrous ammonia and nitrogen-based liquid fertilizer, as well as industrial ammonia. Agricultural chemical customers consist of domestic and foreign producers of such products. As of December 31, 2011, the marine transportation segment operated a fleet of 819 inland tank barges and 236 inland towboats, as well as 59 coastal tank barges and 65 coastal tugboats. The segment also owns and operates fits offshore barge and tug units transporting dry-bulk commodities in coastal trade. As of December 31, 2011, the marine transportation segment operated a fleet of 819 inland tank barges and 236 inland towboats, as well as 59 coastal tank barges and 65 coastal tugboats. The segment also owns and operates fits offshore barge and tug units transporting dry -bulk commodities in coastal trade.

The Canal ! fleet tra! nsports petrochemical feedstocks, processed chemicals, pressurized products, black oil products and refined petroleum products along the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, the Mississippi River below Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and the Houston Ship Channel. The Linehaul fleet transports petrochemical feedstocks, chemicals, agricultural chemicals and lube oils along the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, Mississippi River and the Illinois and Ohio Rivers. Loaded tank barges are staged in the Baton Rouge area from Gulf Coast refineries and petrochemical plants, and are transported from Baton Rouge to waterfront terminals and plants on the Mississippi, Illinois and Ohio Rivers, and along the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway. The River fleet transports petrochemical feedstocks, chemicals, refined petroleum products, agricultural chemicals and black oil products along the Mississippi River System above Baton Rouge. Petrochemical feedstocks and processed chemicals are transported to waterfront petrochemi cal and chemical plants, while black oil products, refined petroleum products and agricultural chemicals are transported to waterfront terminals.

The marine transportation inland operation moves and handles a range of cargoes. As of December 21, 2011, of the 819 inland tank barges operated, 618 were petrochemical and refined products barges, 123 were black oil barges, 63 were pressure barges, 10 were refrigerated anhydrous ammonia barges and five were specialty barges. Marine transportation services for inland movements are conducted under long-term contracts, ranging from one to five years. Kirby Inland Marine, LP (Kirby Inland Marine) operates commercial tank barge fleeting service (temporary barge storage facilities) in ports, including Houston, Corpus Christi and Freeport, Texas, Baton Rouge and New Orleans, Louisiana and other locations on the Mississippi River. Included in the fleeting service is a 51% interest and management control of a shifting operatio n and fleeting service for dry cargo barges and tank barges ! on the Ho! uston Ship Channel. Kirby Inland Marine provides service for its own barges, as well as outside customers, transferring barges within the areas noted, as well as fleeting barges.

Kirby Logistics Management (KLM) is a division of Kirby Inland Marine providing shore-based tankerman and support services to the Company and third parties. Services provided by KLM include barge tankermen, marine terminal, refinery and chemical plant dock operators, and terminal management services. KLM’s services to the Company and third parties cover the Gulf Coast, mid-Mississippi Valley, and the Ohio River Valley. The Company owns a 66% interest in Osprey Line, L.L.C. (Osprey), which transports project cargoes and cargo containers by barge on the United States inland waterway system. The segment’s coastal operations are conducted through wholly owned subsidiaries, K-Sea Transportation Partners LLC and Kirby Ocean Transport Company (Kirby Ocean Transport). K-Sea provides marine transportation of refined petroleum products and black oil products in each coastal region of the United States. The coastal operations consist of the Atlantic, New York, Pacific and Hawaii Divisions. The Atlantic Division operates along the eastern seaboard of the United States and along the Gulf Coast. The Atlantic Division vessels call on coastal states from Maine to Texas, servicing refineries, storage terminals and power plants. The Atlantic Division also operates equipment on the Great Lakes, in the Caribbean, and in Venezuela and the Eastern Canadian provinces.

The New York Division operates in the New York Harbor, close to container terminals, cruise piers, refineries and petroleum storage facilities. The New York Division also performs coastal voyages between Maine and Norfork, Virginia and manages operations in Philadelphia. The New York Division’s fleet consists of tank barges in the 10,000 to 89,000 barrel capacity range and tugboats in the 1800 to 3400 horsepower range, transporting refined petroleum produ! cts for l! ocal and regional customers, black oil products to power generation customers and the delivery of bunker fuel to ships. The Pacific Division operates along the Pacific coast of the United States, servicing refineries and storage terminals from Southern California to Washington State, throughout Alaska, including Dutch Harbor, Cook Inlet and the Alaska River Systems, and from California to Hawaii. The Pacific Division’s fleet consists of tank barges in the 13,000 to 185,000 barrel capacity range and tugboats in the 1000 to 11800 horsepower range, transporting refined petroleum products.

The Hawaii Division services local petroleum retailers and oil companies distributing refined petroleum products and black oil products between the Hawaiian islands and provides other services to the local maritime community. As of December 31, 2011, the Hawaii Division’s fleet consisted of tank barges in the 52,000 to 86,000 barrel capacity range and tugboats in the 1200 to 7 200 horsepower range, transporting refined petroleum products for local and regional customers, black oil products to power generation customers, and the delivery of bunker fuel to ships. The Hawaii Division also provides service docking, standby tug assistance and line handling to vessels using the Single Point Mooring installation at Barbers Point, Oahu, a facility for tankers to load and discharge their cargos through an offshore buoy and submerged pipeline without entering the port. As of December 31, 2011, the coastal fleet consisted of 59 tank barges, 56 of which were double hull and three of which were single hull, with 3.8 million barrels of capacity, transporting refined petroleum products and black oil products. As of December 31, 2011, the Company operated 65 Company-owned coastal tugboats ranging from 1000 to 11800 horsepower. Tugboats in the 1800 to 3400 horsepower classes provide power for barges used in the New York Division. Tugboats in the 1000 to 11800 hors epower classes provide power for barges used in the Atlantic! , Pacific! and Hawaii Divisions. Kirby Ocean Transport owns and operates a fleet of fits offshore dry-bulk barges, fits offshore tugboats and one docking tugboat. Kirby Ocean Transport also has a contract with Holcim (US) Inc. (Holcim) to transport Holcim’s limestone requirements from a facility adjacent to the PEF facility at Crystal River to Holcim’s plant in Theodore, Alabama. Kirby Ocean Transport is also engaged in the transportation of coal, fertilizer and other bulk cargoes on a short-term basis between domestic ports and occasionally the transportation of grain from domestic ports to ports primarily in the Caribbean Basin.

Diesel Engines

The Company, through wholly owned subsidiary Kirby Engines Systems, Inc. (Kirby Engine Systems), is engaged in the overhaul and repair of medium-speed and high-speed diesel engines and reduction gears, and related parts sales used in marine and power generation applications, and distributes and services high-speed diesel engines and transmissions, pumps and compression products, and manufactures oilfield service equipment, including hydraulic fracturing equipment, used in land-based pressure pumping, oilfield service, power generation and transportation applications.

For the marine market, the Company sells Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) replacement parts, provides service mechanics to overhaul and repair engines and reduction gears, and maintains facilities to rebuild component parts or entire engines and reduction gears. For the power generation market, the Company provides service and parts capabilities and safety-related products to power generation operators and to the nuclear industry, and manufactures engine generator and pump sets for the power generation operators and municipalities. The Company expanded its diesel engine services operation with the purchase of United, a manufacturer, diesel engine and transmission distributor and service provider for th e land-based oil and gas services market, oil and gas operat! ors and p! roducers, compression companies, power generation companies, on-highway transportation companies and agricultural markets. United’s principal businesses are the distribution and service of diesel engines, pumps and transmissions, the manufacture and remanufacture of oilfield service equipment, including hydraulic fracturing equipment, and the manufacture of compression equipment for natural gas transmission and for natural gas fired power generation plants.

The Company is engaged in the overhaul and repair of medium-speed and high-speed diesel engines and reduction gears, line boring, block welding services and related parts sales for customers in the marine industry. The Company services medium-speed and high-speed diesel engines utilized in the inland and offshore barge industries. It also services marine equipment and offshore drilling equipment used in the offshore petroleum exploration and oil service industry, marine equipment used in the offshore commer cial fishing industry and vessels owned by the United States government. The Company has marine operations throughout the United States providing in-house and in-field repair capabilities and related parts sales. The medium-speed operations are located in Houma, Louisiana, Chesapeake, Virginia, Paducah, Kentucky, Seattle, Washington and Tampa, Florida. The operations based in Chesapeake, Virginia and Tampa, Florida are authorized distributors for 17 eastern states and the Caribbean for Electro-Motive Diesel, Inc. (EMD). The marine operations based in Houma, Louisiana, Paducah, Kentucky and Seattle, Washington are nonexclusive authorized service centers for EMD providing service and related parts sales. The Houma, Louisiana operation concentrates on the inland and offshore barge and oil services industries. The Tampa, Florida operation concentrates on Gulf of Mexico offshore dry-bulk, tank barge and harbor docking operators. The Paducah, Kentucky operation concentrates on the inland river towboat and barge operators and the Great Lake! s carrier! s. The Seattle, Washington operation concentrates on the offshore commercial fishing industry, tugboat and barge industry, the United States Coast Guard (USCG) and Navy, and other customers in Alaska, Hawaii and the Pacific Rim. The high-speed operations are located in Houma, Baton Rouge, Belle Chasse and New Iberia, Louisiana, Paducah, Kentucky, Mobile, Alabama and Houston, Texas. The Company serves as a factory-authorized marine dealer for Caterpillar diesel engines in Alabama, Kentucky and Louisiana. The Company also operates factory-authorized full service marine dealerships for Cummins, Detroit Diesel and John Deere diesel engines, as well as Allison transmissions and Twin Disk marine gears.

During 2011, the Company was engaged in the overhaul and repair of diesel engines and reduction gears, line boring, block welding service and related parts sales for power generation customers, which represented 9% of the segment’s revenues. The Company is also engag ed in the sale and distribution of parts for diesel engines and governors to the nuclear industry. The Company services users of diesel engines, which provides standby, peak and base load power generation, as well as users of industrial reduction gears, such as the cement, paper and mining industries. The Company provides in-house and in-field repair capabilities and safety-related products to power generation operators from its Rocky Mount, North Carolina, Paducah, Kentucky and Seattle, Washington locations. The Rocky Mount operation is also the distributor of EMD products to the nuclear industry, the global distributor for Woodward Governor products to the nuclear industry, the global distributor of Cooper Energy Services, Inc. products to the nuclear industry, and owns the assets and technology necessary to support the Nordberg medium-speed diesel engines used in nuclear applications. In addition, the Rocky Mount operation is a distributor for Honeywell International Inco rporated industrial measurement and control products to the ! nuclear i! ndustry, an distributor for Norlake Manufacturing Company transformer products to the nuclear industry and a non-exclusive distributor of analog Weschler Instruments metering products and distributor of digital Weschler metering products to the nuclear industry. The Paducah, Kentucky operation provides in-house and in-field repair services for Falk industrial reduction gears in the Midwest. The Seattle, Washington operation provides in-house and in-field repair services for Alco engines located on the West Coast and the Pacific Rim.

The Company’s power generation customers are domestic utilities and the global nuclear power industry. The Company is engaged in the distribution and service of diesel engines, pumps and transmissions, the manufacture and remanufacture of oilfield service equipment and the manufacture of compression equipment for natural gas transmission and for natural gas fired power generation plants. The Company offers a range of custom fabrica ted oilfield service equipment, fully tested and field ready. The Company manufactures products or components that are purchased by a company and marketed under the purchasing company’s brand name. The Company distributes, sells parts and services diesel engines and transmissions for on and off-highway use, and provide in-house and in-field service capabilities. The Company is also the exclusive distributor for Daimler for engines and related equipment in Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana. The Company manufactures and re-manufacturers oilfield service equipment, including hydraulic fracturing equipment, pressure pumping units, nitrogen pumping units, cementers, hydration equipment, mud pumps and blenders. The Company also manufactures and packages custom compressor systems, including electric motor driven systems, natural gas driven systems and industrial air systems, and manufactures natural gas General Motors and Isuzu diesel-powered engines for a range of applications fr om 40 to 500 horsepower. The Company is a dealer of Thermo K! ing refri! gerated systems for trucks, railroad cars and other land transportation markets in south and central Texas. The Company’s land-based customers include oilfield service providers, oil and gas operators and producers, compression companies, domestic utilities, on-highway transportation companies and companies associated with the agricultural markets.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Aimee Duffy]

    The role of the barge can’t be underestimated. Barge receipts increased more than two percentage points year over year, and this is a great place for investors to look for opportunity. Companies with maritime resources benefit from this trend, as well as growth in exports. Three such companies that are worth a look are:

    Kirby Corporation (NYSE: KEX  ) , which operates 30% of the coastal tank barges in the U.S.  Oiltanking Partners (NYSE: OILT  ) , which has storage capacity of 12.1 million barrels and six deepwater docks on the Houston Ship Channel Martin Midstream Partners (NASDAQ: MMLP  ) , which operates a large fleet of inland barges and controls 31 marine terminals 

    These companies won’t be the only winners, but they are a good place to start your research.