Kinder Morgan announces CEO to retire, stay on as chairman, $3 billion Bakken deal

IndustriesAssociated Press

Kinder Morgan Inc. said Wednesday that its founder Richard Kinder will step down as CEO in June and serve as chairman of the company.

The Houston-based oil pipeline company named Steven Kean, its president and chief operating officer, as his successor.

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Kinder Morgan announced separately that it is acquiring oil and gas processing company Hiland Partners in a deal worth $3 billion, including roughly $1 billion in debt. The assets being acquired include oil gathering and transportation pipelines, as well as gas gathering and processing systems for the Bakken Formation in North Dakota and Montana.

Kinder Morgan says the purchase will give it access to some of the Bakken's most attractive and economically viable areas.

The acquisition is expected to close in the first quarter and will add modestly to its cash available to pay dividends this year and next.

Kinder Morgan is going through a number of major changes. In addition to the leadership shift and major acquisition, it also recently consolidated its oil and gas businesses into one company. It used to control the businesses but trade them separately under a master limited partnership.

The company also reported Wednesday that it earned $126 million for its fourth quarter, or 8 cents per share. Earnings adjusted for asset impairment costs came to 27 cents per share. It posted revenue of $3.95 billion.

The quarter's results fell short of market forecasts. Analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research were anticipating earnings of 36 cents per share on revenue of $4.43 billion.

Kinder Morgan also raised its quarterly dividend to 45 cents per share, up 1 cent from its most recent payout. The dividend is payable Feb. 17 to shareholders of record as of Feb. 2.

Shares of the company added 18 cents to close regular trading at $42 but fell 80 cents, a nearly 2 percent drop, in extended trading following the announcements.

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Elements of this story were generated by Automated Insights (http://automatedinsights.com/ap) using data from Zacks Investment Research. Access a Zacks stock report on KMI at http://www.zacks.com/ap/KMI

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Keywords: Kinder Morgan, Earnings Report