Kinder Morgan Sees Higher Income in 2021, Raises Dividend

(Reuters) - Kinder Morgan Inc said on Tuesday it expects to generate higher income in 2021 and raised its annual dividend, as the pipeline operator cost cuts this year in the face of oil demand destruction.

Earnings at Kinder Morgan and across much of the oil industry were hit hard this year by massive asset write-downs as the pandemic crushed fuel demand, pushing crude prices to historic lows.

As the world prepares for a vaccine rollout, fuel demand has rebounded and prices are now hovering at around $50 a barrel, and producers are resuming their shut-in drilling, improving the prospects for pipeline companies.

Kinder Morgan, which expects net income to be just about $100 million this year due to large impairments, said it estimates to generate around $2.1 billion in profit attributable to it next year.

The company expects core earnings of around $6.8 billion next year and distributable cash flow of $4.4 billion, it said.

Kinder Morgan said it plans to invest about $800 million next year on expansion projects and joint ventures, which is lower than expected, according to Credit Suisse analysts.

The company raised its dividend by about 3% to $1.08 per share on an annualized basis, with $450 million set aside for share repurchases.

Canadian pipeline operator Enbridge on Tuesday also forecast higher core earnings in 2021 and raised its annual dividend, saying it expects to see volume on its Liquids Mainline System improve next year.

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