Kinder Morgan, Inc. (NYSE: KMI) announced that its board of directors approved a cash dividend of $0.125 per share for the quarter ($0.50 annualized) payable on May 15, 2017, to common shareholders of record as of the close of business on May 1, 2017. KMI expects to declare dividends of $0.50 per share for 2017 and use cash in excess of dividend payments to fully fund growth investments and further strengthen its balance sheet.
Richard D. Kinder, executive chairman, said, "We are pleased to have made additional progress on our two largest growth projects: Trans Mountain expansion and Elba Island Liquefaction. These are signature energy infrastructure assets for North America, and we expect they will contribute greatly to Kinder Morgan's future growth. With respect to Trans Mountain, after receiving approval from the Canadian federal government and the province of British Columbia to proceed with the project, we completed our final cost estimate review process with the shippers. Despite the shippers' right to terminate their contracts during this process, 100 percent of the original committed capacity (707,500 thousand barrels per day) remains under contract. Additionally, while making steady progress constructing our Elba Island Liquefaction facility, we welcomed EIG Global Energy Partners as a 49 percent joint venture participant in that project."
"Meanwhile, consistent with previous guidance, we continue to develop financing alternatives for the Trans Mountain project, either by bringing in a joint venture partner or conducting an initial public offering of a portfolio that would include Trans Mountain and other Kinder Morgan Canadian assets," said Kinder. "In doing so, we will stay on track toward our targeted leverage level of around 5.0 times net debt-to-Adjusted EBITDA. That leverage level will create options for us to return substantial value to shareholders through some combination of dividend increases, share repurchases, additional attractive growth projects or further debt reduction. Consistent with previous guidance, we expect to announce revised dividend guidance for 2018 in the latter part of this year. This progress, combined with our world class portfolio of fee-based energy infrastructure assets, the balancing of global crude oil supply and demand, and a more positive federal legislative and regulatory environment, makes us very confident about Kinder Morgan's future in the near-term and long-term."
President and CEO Steve Kean said, "We are pleased with our operational performance, which is slightly ahead of guidance we provided in January for the quarter, and we remain on target for the year. We generated earnings per common share for the quarter of $0.18 and distributable cash flow of $0.54 per common share, resulting in $935 million of excess distributable cash flow above our dividend."
Kean added, "We continue to drive future growth by completing significant infrastructure development projects in our project backlog. Our current project backlog is $11.7 billion, down from $12.0 billion at the end of 2016. That total currently includes 100 percent of the Trans Mountain project costs and will be adjusted when we decide on a financing alternative. The reduction was primarily driven by placing the Kinder Morgan Export Terminal in service. Excluding the CO2 segment projects, we expect the projects in our backlog to generate an average capital-to-EBITDA multiple of approximately 6.7 times."
KMI reported first quarter net income available to common stockholders of $401 million, compared to $276 million for the first quarter of 2016, and distributable cash flow of $1,215 million that was essentially flat versus $1,233 million for the comparable period in 2016. Net income available to common stockholders was impacted by a $162 million favorable change in total Certain Items compared to the first quarter of 2016. Certain Items in that quarter were primarily driven by project write-offs and losses on impairments and divestitures, partially offset by a favorable non-cash interest expense certain item.
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