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KMI: JVs Anticipated; 2017 DCF Flat With This Year; No Dividend Hike Yet

Kinder Morgan Inc. (KMI) outlined its financial outlook for the coming year and said investors will likely have to wait until 2018 for a hike in the company’s previously slashed dividend.

“The fundamentals of our business remain strong,” said CEO Steve Kean. “We expect to generate $4.46 billion of distributable cash flow (DCF) for 2017, which continues to provide us great strength and flexibility. We are also confident in our outlook for growth, largely supported by our $13 billion backlog of energy infrastructure expansion opportunities that have a high probability of completion over the next few years.”

KMI said it expects to declare dividends of 50 cents/share in 2017. It also expects to provide guidance on a revised dividend policy in the latter part of this year, with a view toward “delivering additional value” to shareholders in 2018, the company said.

The company’s expectation is that it will end this year with a debt-to-adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) ratio of 5.4 times, “with expected improvement based on additional proceeds generated by joint ventures [JV].”

“Select” JVs are being pursued to help fund development of certain projects. The 2017 budget assumes a JV partner on the TransMountain expansion project.

Next year KMI plans to generate $1.99/share of DCF and $7.2 billion of adjusted EBITDA, which is essentially flat with 2016. Contributions from expansion projects coming into service are expected to largely offset the full-year effect of the Sept. 1, 2016, sale of a 50% interest in Southern Natural Gas, the year over year decline in realized oil prices in its carbon dioxide segment, lower contributions from certain gathering and processing assets, and the effect of a rate case on Colorado Interstate Gas settled during 2016.

Next year KMI plans to invest $3.2 billion in expansion projects, funded with excess, internally generated cash flow, with no need to access equity markets during the year.

KMI’s expectations assume average annual prices for West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil and Henry Hub natural gas of $53/bbl and $3/MMBtu, respectively.

The KMI board will review the 2017 budget for approval at the January board meeting and the budget will be discussed in detail by management during the company’s annual analyst meeting to be held on Jan. 25.

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