Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, L.P. (NYSE: KMP) today increased its quarterly cash distribution per common unit to $1.38 ($5.52 annualized) payable on May 15, 2014, to unitholders of record as of April 30, 2014. This represents a 6 percent increase over the first quarter 2013 cash distribution per unit of $1.30 ($5.20 annualized) and is up from $1.36 per unit ($5.44 annualized) for the fourth quarter of 2013.
Chairman and CEO Richard D. Kinder said, “KMP had a strong first quarter and increased the distribution for the 51st time since current management took over in February of 1997. We earned distributable cash flow before certain items of $1.55 per unit for the first quarter, which equates to coverage in excess of our distributions of $76 million. Our five business segments produced $1.569 billion in segment earnings before DD&A and certain items, a 23 percent increase over the first quarter of 2013. Growth was led by contributions from the Copano acquisition, a dropdown from Kinder Morgan, Inc. associated with the El Paso Corporation transaction, outstanding results from the Natural Gas Pipelines group, increased oil production at our CO 2 segment and strong results from our Terminals business. We continue to see exceptional growth opportunities across all of our business segments and currently have identified approximately $14.9 billion in expansion and joint venture investments at KMP that we are confident will come to fruition and drive future growth. This compares to a backlog of $13.5 billion in projects announced in our January earnings release.”
KMP reported first quarter distributable cash flow before certain items of $693 million, up 26 percent from $550 million for the comparable period in 2013. Distributable cash flow per unit before certain items was $1.55 compared to $1.46 for the first quarter last year. First quarter net income before certain items was $788 million compared to $655 million for the same period in 2013. Including certain items, net income was $754 million compared to $792 million for the first quarter last year. Certain items for the first quarter totaled a net loss of $34 million versus a net gain of $137 million for the same period last year. Certain items for the first quarter included legal reserve adjustments.