Energy Business

Kinder Morgan Raises Dividend (Again) on Lower Earnings and Revenues

KMI Tanker
Source: Kinder Morgan Inc.
Kinder Morgan Inc. (NYSE: KMI) reported third quarter 2015 results after markets closed Wednesday. The midstream giant posted earnings per Class P share (EPS) of $0.08 per share on revenues of $3.71 billion. In the same period a year ago KMI posted EPS of $0.32 on revenues of $4.29 billion. Consensus estimates called for earnings per share of $0.19 per share on revenues of $3.78 billion.

Distributable cash flow (DCF) is a non-GAAP measure that is roughly comparable to net income per share and is KMI’s preferred way of comparing basic cash flows to the cash dividends it expects to pay shareholders. Another way of looking at DCF is as coverage in excess of dividends. DCF for the second quarter totaled $0.51 per share, up from $0.42 in the year-ago quarter. The increase is primarily due to the merger transactions the company completed last November.

Kinder Morgan will pay a dividend of $0.51 per share to shareholders of record on November 2nd, up from $0.44 in the third quarter of last year and up from $0.49 sequentially. Before the dividend increase Kinder Morgan’s dividend yield was 6.09%.

DCF for the quarter totaled $1.13 billion compared to $435 million in the third quarter last year, again due to the merger transactions. Net income for the second quarter totaled $348 million compared with $537 million in the year-ago quarter. The decline was driven by higher DD&A expenses and interest expense.

Chairman and CEO Richard Kinder had this to say about KMI:

While we are largely insulated from commodity price impacts due to our predominately take-or-pay supported cash flows, we are not totally immune.

As a company, we remain focused on our goals to continue to return cash to our shareholders in increasing amounts, to maintain our investment grade ratings and leverage targets while funding our business in the most efficient and economical way possible. We believe an appropriate response to the challenging current equity markets is to identify alternative funding sources that help us meet our goals and have a lower expected long-term cost of capital than our common equity. We have identified alternative sources and have selected one of these to pursue, as appropriate, to meet our equity funding requirements for the balance of 2015 and for the first half of 2016. This would eliminate our need to access the common equity markets through mid-next year. Additionally, while we are at the beginning of our budget process for 2016, we currently expect to increase our declared dividend for 2016 by 6 to 10 percent over the 2015 declared dividend of $2.00 per share. We expect this range will provide the flexibility for us to meet our dividend and have excess cash coverage.

The company’s cash coverage in excess of declared dividends for the first nine months of 2015 is $228 million. The company’s original estimate for excess coverage totaled $654 million

The company has sold about $1.28 billion in new equity during the third quarter bringing the total for the year to $3.88 billion. Kinder Morgan repurchased about 3.7 million KMI warrants in the third quarter, leaving 293 million warrants outstanding at the end of the quarter.

Kinder Morgan’s current project backlog of expansion and joint venture investments is $21.3 billion. Since the second quarter earnings release, the company has placed nearly $400 million of completed projects into service, removed approximately $1.0 billion in projects, and added approximately $700 million driven by new projects. According to the company, projects in the backlog have a high certainty of completion and are expected to drive future growth at the company.

Shares of KMI traded down about 1.5% in after-hours trading Tuesday at $30.95 in a 52-week range of $25.81 to $44.71. The consensus price target on the stock was $41.57 before today’s earnings announcement.

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