First Trust Energy Infrastructure Fund Increases its Monthly Common Share Distribution to $0.10 Per Share for April
First Trust Energy Infrastructure Fund (the "Fund") (NYSE: FIF) has increased its regularly scheduled monthly common share distribution to $0.10 per share from $0.0655 per share. The distribution will be payable on April 17, 2023, to shareholders of record as of April 4, 2023. The ex-dividend date is expected to be April 3, 2023. The monthly distribution information for the Fund appears below.
The Fund's Board of Trustees has approved a managed distribution policy for the Fund (the "Plan") in reliance on exemptive relief received from the Securities and Exchange Commission which permits the Fund to make periodic distributions of long-term capital gains as frequently as monthly each tax year. Under the Plan, the Fund intends to continue to pay a recurring monthly distribution that reflects the distributable cash flow of the Fund. A portion of this monthly distribution may include long-term capital gains. This may result in a reduction of the long-term capital gain distribution necessary at year end by distributing long-term capital gains throughout the year. The annual distribution rate is independent of the Fund's performance during any particular period. Accordingly, you should not draw any conclusions about the Fund's investment performance from the amount of any distribution or from the terms of the Plan.
The distribution may consist of net investment income earned by the Fund, net short-term and long-term capital gains and/or tax-deferred return of capital. Tax-deferred return of capital, if any, is primarily due to the tax treatment of cash distributions made by master-limited partnerships ("MLPs") in which the Fund invests. The final determination of the source of tax status of all 2023 distributions will be made after the end of 2023 and will be provided on Form 1099-DIV.
The increase in the monthly distribution reflects increases in dividends and distributions from portfolio companies as well as underlying appreciation in shares of the Fund's portfolio holdings.
The Fund is a non-diversified, closed-end management investment company that seeks to provide a high level of total return with an emphasis on current distributions paid to shareholders. The Fund seeks to achieve its investment objectives by investing primarily in securities of companies engaged in the energy infrastructure sector. These companies principally include publicly-traded MLPs and limited liability companies taxed as partnerships, MLP affiliates, YieldCos, pipeline companies, utilities, and other companies that derive at least 50% of their revenues from operating or providing services in support of infrastructure assets such as pipelines, power transmission and petroleum and natural gas storage in the petroleum, natural gas and power generation industries (collectively, "Energy Infrastructure Companies"). To generate additional income, the Fund expects to write (or sell) covered call options on up to 35% of the managed assets held in the Fund's portfolio.
First Trust Advisors L.P. ("FTA") is a federally registered investment advisor and serves as the Fund's investment advisor. FTA and its affiliate First Trust Portfolios L.P. ("FTP"), a FINRA registered broker-dealer, are privately-held companies that provide a variety of investment services. FTA has collective assets under management or supervision of approximately $196 billion as of February 28, 2023 through unit investment trusts, exchange-traded funds, closed-end funds, mutual funds and separate managed accounts. FTA is the supervisor of the First Trust unit investment trusts, while FTP is the sponsor. FTP is also a distributor of mutual fund shares and exchange-traded fund creation units. FTA and FTP are based in Wheaton, Illinois.
Energy Income Partners, LLC ("EIP") serves as the Fund's investment sub-advisor and provides advisory services to a number of investment companies and partnerships for the purpose of investing in MLPs and other energy infrastructure securities. EIP is one of the early investment advisors specializing in this area. As of February 28, 2023, EIP managed or supervised approximately $5.1 billion in client assets.
Principal Risk Factors: Risks are inherent in all investing. Certain risks applicable to the Fund are identified below, which includes the risk that you could lose some or all of your investment in the Fund. The principal risks of investing in the Fund are spelled out in the Fund's annual shareholder reports. The order of the below risk factors does not indicate the significance of any particular risk factor. The Fund also files reports, proxy statements and other information that is available for review.
Past performance is no assurance of future results. Investment return and market value of an investment in the Fund will fluctuate. Shares, when sold, may be worth more or less than their original cost. There can be no assurance that the Fund's investment objectives will be achieved. The Fund may not be appropriate for all investors.
Securities held by a fund, as well as shares of a fund itself, are subject to market fluctuations caused by factors such as general economic conditions, political events, regulatory or market developments, changes in interest rates and perceived trends in securities prices. Shares of a fund could decline in value or underperform other investments as a result of the risk of loss associated with these market fluctuations. In addition, local, regional or global events such as war, acts of terrorism, spread of infectious diseases or other public health issues, recessions, or other events could have a significant negative impact on a fund and its investments. Such events may affect certain geographic regions, countries, sectors and industries more significantly than others. In February 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine which has caused and could continue to cause significant market disruptions and volatility within the markets in Russia, Europe, and the United States. The hostilities and sanctions resulting from those hostilities could have a significant impact on certain fund investments as well as fund performance. The COVID-19 global pandemic and the ensuing policies enacted by governments and central banks have caused and may continue to cause significant volatility and uncertainty in global financial markets. While the U.S. has resumed "reasonably" normal business activity, many countries continue to impose lockdown measures. Additionally, there is no guarantee that vaccines will be effective against emerging variants of the disease.
The Fund is subject to risks, including the fact that it is a non-diversified closed-end management investment company.
Because the Fund is concentrated in securities issued by energy infrastructure companies, it will be more susceptible to adverse economic or regulatory occurrences affecting that industry, including high interest costs, high leverage costs, the effects of economic slowdown, surplus capacity, increased competition, uncertainties concerning the availability of fuel at reasonable prices, the effects of energy conservation policies and other factors. Investments in securities of MLPs involve certain risks different from or in addition to the risks of investing in common stocks. The number of energy-related MLPs has declined since 2014. The industry is witnessing the consolidation or simplification of corporate structures where the MLP sleeve of capital is being eliminated. As a result of the foregoing, the Fund's MLP investments could become less diverse and the Fund may increase its non-MLP investments consistent with its investment objective and policies. Changes in tax laws or regulations, or interpretations thereof in the future, could adversely affect the Fund or the MLPs, MLP-related entities and other energy sector and energy utility companies in which the Fund invests.
The Fund invests in securities of non-U.S. issuers which are subject to higher volatility than securities of U.S. issuers. Because the Fund invests in non-U.S. securities, you may lose money if the local currency of a non-U.S. market depreciates against the U.S. dollar.
There can be no assurance as to what portion of the distributions paid to the Fund's Common Shareholders will consist of tax-advantaged qualified dividend income.
To the extent a fund invests in floating or variable rate obligations that use the London Interbank Offered Rate ("LIBOR") as a reference interest rate, it is subject to LIBOR Risk. The United Kingdom's Financial Conduct Authority, which regulates LIBOR has ceased making LIBOR available as a reference rate over a phase-out period that began December 31, 2021. There is no assurance that any alternative reference rate, including the Secured Overnight Financing Rate ("SOFR") will be similar to or produce the same value or economic equivalence as LIBOR or that instruments using an alternative rate will have the same volume or liquidity. The unavailability or replacement of LIBOR may affect the value, liquidity or return on certain fund investments and may result in costs incurred in connection with closing out positions and entering into new trades. Any potential effects of the transition away from LIBOR on the fund or on certain instruments in which the fund invests can be difficult to ascertain, and they may vary depending on a variety of factors, and they could result in losses to the fund.
As the writer (seller) of a call option, the Fund forgoes, during the life of the option, the opportunity to profit from increases in the market value of the portfolio security covering the option above the sum of the premium and the strike price of the call option but retains the risk of loss should the price of the underlying security decline. The value of call options written by the Fund may be adversely affected if the market for the option is reduced or becomes illiquid. There can be no assurance that a liquid market will exist when the Fund seeks to close out an option position.
If short-term interest rates are lower than the Fund's fixed rate of payment on an interest rate swap, the swap will reduce common share net earnings. In addition, a default by the counterparty to a swap transaction could also negatively impact the performance of the common shares.
Use of leverage can result in additional risk and cost, and can magnify the effect of any losses.
The risks of investing in the Fund are spelled out in the shareholder reports and other regulatory filings.
The information presented is not intended to constitute an investment recommendation for, or advice to, any specific person. By providing this information, First Trust is not undertaking to give advice in any fiduciary capacity within the meaning of ERISA, the Internal Revenue Code or any other regulatory framework. Financial professionals are responsible for evaluating investment risks independently and for exercising independent judgment in determining whether investments are appropriate for their clients.
The Fund's daily closing New York Stock Exchange price and net asset value per share as well as other information can be found at https://www.ftportfolios.com or by calling 1-800-988-5891.