HOUSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–In its third quarter earnings call, Kinder Morgan, Inc. (NYSE: KMI) indicated an expected 2016 growth range of 6 to 10 percent over its 2015 target dividend of $2.00 per share. KMI has now completed its 2016 budget process and expects to generate 2016 distributable cash flow of slightly over $5 billion, which would be sufficient to support dividend growth in the range discussed in the third quarter call. Alternatively, this cash flow can be used to fund some or all of KMI’s equity needs for 2016. KMI’s board will be reviewing the dividend policy and financing plans in the coming days and the company will announce that policy and plan when finalized. KMI will construct its 2016 plan to maintain an investment grade rating with all three agencies. Further KMI does not plan to issue equity at current prices.
Kinder Morgan, Inc. (NYSE: KMI) is the largest energy infrastructure company in North America. It owns an interest in or operates approximately 84,000 miles of pipelines and approximately 165 terminals. The company’s pipelines transport natural gas, gasoline, crude oil, CO2 and other products, and its terminals store petroleum products and chemicals, and handle bulk materials like coal and petroleum coke. Kinder Morgan is the largest midstream and third largest energy company in North America. For more information please visit www.kindermorgan.com.
Distributable cash flow before certain items is a significant metric used by us and by external users of our financial statements, such as investors, research analysts, commercial banks and others, to compare basic cash flows generated by us to the cash dividends we expect to pay our shareholders on an ongoing basis. Management uses this metric to evaluate our overall performance. Distributable cash flow before certain items is also an important non-GAAP financial measure for our shareholders because it serves as an indicator of our success in providing a cash return on investment. This financial measure indicates to investors whether or not we are generating cash flow at a level that can sustain or support an increase in the quarterly dividends we are paying. Distributable cash flow before certain items is also a quantitative measure used in the investment community because the value of a share of an entity like KMI that pays out a substantial proportion of its cash flow is generally determined by the dividend yield (which in turn is based on the amount of cash dividends the corporation pays to its shareholders as compared to its stock price). The economic substance behind our use of distributable cash flow before certain items is to measure and estimate the ability of our assets to generate cash flows sufficient to pay dividends to our investors.
We believe the GAAP measure most directly comparable to distributable cash flow before certain items is net income. A reconciliation of distributable cash flow before certain items to net income is provided in this release. Distributable cash flow before certain items per share is distributable cash flow before certain items divided by average outstanding shares, including restricted stock awards that participate in dividends. “Certain items” are items that are required by GAAP to be reflected in net income, but typically either (1) do not have a cash impact, for example, asset impairments, or (2) by their nature are separately identifiable from our normal business operations and in our view are likely to occur only sporadically, for example certain legal settlements, hurricane impacts and casualty losses. Management uses this measure and believes it is important to users of our financial statements because it believes the measure more effectively reflects our business’ ongoing cash generation capacity than a similar measure with the certain items included.
For similar reasons, management uses segment earnings before DD&A and certain items in its analysis of segment performance and management of our business. General and administrative expenses are generally not controllable by our segment operating managers, and therefore, are not included when we measure business segment operating performance. We believe segment earnings before DD&A and certain items is a significant performance metric because it enables us and external users of our financial statements to better understand the ability of our segments to generate cash on an ongoing basis. We believe it is useful to investors because it is a measure that management believes is important and that our chief operating decision makers use for purposes of making decisions about allocating resources to our segments and assessing the segments’ respective performance.
We believe the GAAP measure most directly comparable to segment earnings before DD&A and certain items is segment earnings before DD&A. Segment earnings before DD&A and certain items is calculated by adjusting for the certain items attributable to a segment, which are specifically identified in the footnotes to the accompanying tables, from segment earnings before DD&A. Segment earnings before DD&A as presented in our GAAP financials are included on the first page of the tables presenting our financial results.
Our non-GAAP measures described above should not be considered alternatives to GAAP net income or other GAAP measures and have important limitations as analytical tools. Our computations of distributable cash flow before certain items, and segment earnings before DD&A and certain items may differ from similarly titled measures used by others. You should not consider these non-GAAP measures in isolation or as substitutes for an analysis of our results as reported under GAAP. Management compensates for the limitations of these non-GAAP measures by reviewing our comparable GAAP measures, understanding the differences between the measures and taking this information into account in its analysis and its decision making processes.
Important Information Relating to Forward-Looking Statements
This news release includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and Section 21E of the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934. Generally the words “expects,” “believes,” anticipates,” “plans,” “will,” “shall,” “estimates,” and similar expressions identify forward-looking statements, which are generally not historical in nature. Forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties and are based on the beliefs and assumptions of management, based on information currently available to them. Although Kinder Morgan believes that these forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, it can give no assurance that any such forward-looking statements will materialize. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in or implied from these forward-looking statements include the risks and uncertainties described in Kinder Morgan’s reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year-ended December 31, 2014 (under the headings “Risk Factors” and “Information Regarding Forward-Looking Statements” and elsewhere) and its subsequent reports, which are available through the SEC’s EDGAR system at www.sec.gov and on our website at ir.kindermorgan.com. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they were made, and except to the extent required by law, Kinder Morgan undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statement because of new information, future events or other factors. Because of these risks and uncertainties, readers should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements.