Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, L.P. (NYSE: KMP) today increased its quarterly cash distribution per common unit to $1.20 ($4.80 annualized) payable on May 15, 2012, to unitholders of record as of April 30, 2012. This represents a 5 percent increase over the first quarter 2011 cash distribution per unit of $1.14 ($4.56 annualized) and is up from $1.16 per unit ($4.64 annualized) for the fourth quarter of 2011. KMP has increased the distribution 43 times since current management took over in February of 1997.
Chairman and CEO Richard D. Kinder said, “KMP had a strong first quarter, as our stable and diversified assets continued to grow and produce incremental cash flow. In total, our five business segments produced more than $1 billion in segment earnings before DD&A and certain items, an increase of 17 percent over the first quarter of 2011, led by strong results at our CO 2 and Natural Gas Pipelines businesses. Looking ahead, we believe there are multiple growth opportunities across our businesses related to the natural gas shale plays, growing CO 2 needs in West Texas for enhanced oil recovery, increasing demand for export coal, and additional infrastructure requirements to transport products from the Canadian oilsands and to move and store natural gas liquids. With our large footprint of assets in North America, KMP is well positioned for future growth.”
KMP reported first quarter distributable cash flow before certain items of $462 million, up 21 percent from $382 million for the comparable period in 2011. Distributable cash flow per unit before certain items was $1.37 compared to $1.21 for the first quarter last year. First quarter net income before certain items was $534 million compared to $424 million for the same period in 2011. Including certain items, net income was $208 million compared to $341 million for the first quarter last year. Certain items for the first quarter totaled a net loss of $326 million versus a net loss of $83 million for the same period last year. Almost all of the certain items in the current quarter are attributed to the re-measurement of discontinued operations to fair value related to the assets to be divested in order to obtain Federal Trade Commission approval for Kinder Morgan, Inc.’s proposed acquisition of El Paso Corporation.