Pipeline Operator Kinder Morgan Beats Profit Estimates; CEO to Step Down

(Reuters) — U.S. pipeline operator Kinder Morgan on Wednesday announced fourth-quarter earnings of $1.4 billion, exceeding analysts' expectations, and said long-time CEO Steve Kean will step down after eight years in the role.


The company transported higher volumes of natural gas, jet fuel and carbon dioxide as sanctions on Russia following its invasion of Ukraine dried up supplies and boosted U.S. LNG export volumes to Europe.

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"Our Natural Gas Pipelines segment performed well above plan for the quarter, as did our CO2 segment, which benefited from continued high commodity prices," Chief Executive Officer Steve Kean said in a statement.

Kean, who has served as CEO for the last eight years, will step down effective Aug. 1, but will remain on the company's board.

He will be succeeded by President Kim Dang. Dang has been with the company over 20 years and earlier served as the chief financial officer.

The Houston-Texas based firm said earnings from its natural gas pipelines rose 11% to $1.4 billion for the three months ended Dec. 31, from a year earlier.

Adjusted profit rose to $708 million, or 31 cents per share, from $609 million, or 27 cents per share, beating analysts' average estimate of 30 cents, according to Refinitiv IBES data.

Fourth-quarter revenue of $4.6 billion, however, missed the average estimate of $4.9 billion.

The board also increased the share repurchase authorization by $1 billion.

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