MLP Fund MainStay Cushing Royalty Energy Hurt by Failing Oil & Gas Prices

shutterstock_82649419The attorneys at Gana LLP have been following the collapse of the MainStay Cushing Royalty Energy Income Fund (CURAX), (CURNX), (CURCX), and (CURZX). The fund describes its investment strategy as investing primarily in securities of energy-related U.S. royalty trusts, Canadian royalty trusts, and Canadian exploration and production (E&P), E&P master limited partnerships (MLPs), and securities of other companies in the same businesses as Energy Trusts and MLPs engage.

Investments in MLPs contain significant risks and the Cushing Fund has declined by over 50% in value from its high. These risks stem from the fact that MLPs tend to fluctuate with the price of oil and gas. For example in 2008, when oil plummeted in the wake of the great recession the AMZ MLP Index declined by 36.9% in a single year. MLPs have other risks that investors should know including the fact that these investments often grow their distributions at an accelerated rate in their first two years in order to attract positive research reports from Wall Street analysts. The funds use the increased distributions and positive reports to influence their values higher even though the true long term yield of these MLPs are unknown.

As a background MLPs are publicly traded partnerships. About 86% of MLP securities are related to energy and natural resource companies. There are about 130 MLPs trading on major exchanges that focus on energy related industries and natural resources. While MLPs have the same liquid trading characteristics as common stocks they are internally very different. For instance, MLP’s are pass through investment vehicles that pass through their income to the investor without any company level taxation. In addition, MLP’s must derive 90% of their revenues from their businesses in natural resources activities. Investors should also be aware that in practice, most MLP’s pay out most of their earnings through distributions rather than reinvest profits in the company. This causes the MLPs to issue additional debt and shares in order to grow the business.

In recent years MLPs have boomed with oil and gas prices. Since January 2013, over 30 new MLPs entered the market and during 2014, 11 oil and gas MLP offerings generated proceeds of $5.1 billion.

Investors who have suffered losses may be able recover their losses through securities arbitration. The attorneys at Gana LLP are experienced in representing investors in cases of unsuitable investment advice. Our consultations are free of charge and the firm is only compensated if you recover.