One of the key themes for the midstream and MLP space in 2022 has been the meaningful return of dividend growth. For investors that largely use the midstream space for its income, this has been a welcomed development, particularly as inflation has caused purchasing power to erode. For some names, growth has been consistent, even through periods of macro volatility as seen in 2020. Other names chose to reduce their payouts to conserve cash and shore up their balance sheets particularly in the spring of 2020 when the impact of the pandemic on energy markets was most acute. Today, consistent growers are continuing to execute, and names that cut in the past (or paused growth) are starting to grow again as balance sheets have improved and free cash flow generation has been strong. These positive trends are evident in the sequential changes to payouts shown below.
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