Why Kinder Morgan (KMI) Stock Is Soaring Today

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Kinder Morgan Inc.  (KMI) are up 14.20% to $41.25 in pre-market trade after it was reported that the Houston billionaire Richard Kinder is consolidating his pipeline empire to strengthen it for growth as the U.S. shale drilling boom opens up $1.5 trillion in potential purchases and expansion projects, Bloomberg reports.

The company plans to acquire all of Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP (KMP), Kinder Morgan Management LLC (KMR) and El Paso Pipeline Partners LP (EPB) in a series of transactions valued at about $44 billion, according to a statement yesterday.

The move by Kinder, who controls the entities through his 24% stake in the parent company, runs counter to the industry trend of spinning off pipelines and oil terminals into tax-advantaged partnerships that funnel cash to investors. By simplifying his empire’s corporate structure, Kinder will lower borrowing costs and unify the company under a single stock that he can use as currency to buy competitors, according to Bloomberg.

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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 multiple 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 lackluster performance in the stock itself."

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