NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Kinder Morgan (KMI) - Get Report , North America's third-largest energy company based on total enterprise value, fell 2.82% to $34.50 in afternoon trading Tuesday as oil prices continued to plunge.

Brent crude, the global oil benchmark, has fallen to less than $90 a barrel, its lowest level since November 2010. The U.S. contract, West Texas Intermediate, dropped below $85 a barrel, its lowest level since late 2012.

Billionaire Richard Kinder announced a $44 billion consolidation plan earlier this year to bring Kinder Morgan, Kinder Morgan Energy Partners  (KMP) Kinder Morgan Management  (KMR) and El Paso Pipeline Partners  (EPB) under one umbrella.

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More than 23.7 million shares of KMI had changed hands as of 3:16 p.m., compared to the average volume of 13,105,300.

Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates KINDER MORGAN INC as a "buy" with a ratings score of B+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate KINDER MORGAN INC (KMI) a BUY. This is driven by a few notable strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, good cash flow from operations, expanding profit margins, increase in net income and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 2.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 16.4%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displaying stagnant earnings per share.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $1,085.00 million or 14.21% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of -4.80%.
  • 38.48% is the gross profit margin for KINDER MORGAN INC which we consider to be strong. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Regardless of the strong results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 7.21% trails the industry average.
  • KINDER MORGAN INC reported flat earnings per share in the most recent quarter. The company has suffered a declining pattern of earnings per share over the past year. However, we anticipate this trend reversing over the coming year. During the past fiscal year, KINDER MORGAN INC reported lower earnings of $1.15 versus $1.22 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.25 versus $1.15).
  • The company, on the basis of net income growth from the same quarter one year ago, has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry average. The net income increased by 2.5% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $277.00 million to $284.00 million.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: KMI Ratings Report

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