El Paso Pipeline Partners, L.P. (NYSE: EPB) today increased its quarterly cash distribution per common unit to $0.61 ($2.44 annualized) payable on Feb. 14, 2013, to unitholders of record as of Jan. 31, 2013. This represents a 22 percent increase over the fourth quarter 2011 cash distribution per unit of $0.50 ($2.00 annualized) and a 5 percent increase from $0.58 per unit ($2.32 annualized) for the third quarter of 2012. EPB has increased its cash distribution 19 consecutive quarters since its initial public offering in November 2007.
Chairman and CEO Richard D. Kinder said, “EPB had a good fourth quarter and year, and will distribute $2.25 per unit for 2012, which represents a 17 percent increase over its 2011 distribution per unit of $1.93. We also generated cash in excess of our distributions of approximately $119 million. EPB’s performance reflects solid results from our pipeline and storage assets, dropdowns from our general partner, cost savings associated with Kinder Morgan, Inc.’s (NYSE: KMI) acquisition of El Paso Corporation in May 2012, completed expansion projects on Southern Natural Gas (SNG) and significantly increased demand from natural gas fired power plants. Looking ahead, growth is expected to be driven by our stable, regulated natural gas pipeline and storage assets, our LNG business and incremental cost and growth synergies related to KMI’s purchase of El Paso.”
EPB reported fourth quarter distributable cash flow before certain items of $163 million, a 43 percent increase from $114 million for the comparable period in 2011. Distributable cash flow per unit before certain items was $0.75, compared to $0.55 for the fourth quarter last year. Fourth quarter net income before certain items was $182 million compared to $132 million for the same period in 2011. Including certain items, net income was $178 million versus $145 million for the fourth quarter last year.
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