What: Shares of Kinder Morgan (NYSE:KMI), the largest energy infrastructure company in North America, dipped by $0.14 on Friday, or a modest 0.3%, to close at $41.87 despite the fact that Barclays reinstated coverage on the company with a favorable view.
So what: According to Barclays, which reinstated an "overweight" rating on Kinder Morgan (the equivalent of a "buy") and set a $50 price target, the company's dividend growth, limited commodity exposure, and healthy backlog could make it a company to own with minimal downside.
Barclays specifically notes that Kinder Morgan's dividend could grow 10% per year through 2020, and that its dividend coverage is significantly higher than that of its peers, adding in an extra level of comfort for shareholders. Additionally, with just 6% of its cash flow exposed to commodity prices there is minimal downside even with oil at $50 per barrel.
Barclays also notes that if Kinder Morgan were to go the route of a master limited partnership or general partnership it could reduce its taxes, improve its liquidity, and even better shoulder its debt load, which sits at $43 billion as of the latest quarter.
Now what: The real question that investors need to be asking here is whether or not Kinder Morgan is worth $50 per share, or $107 billion in market value.
On one hand, Kinder Morgan is dealing with high debt levels that could constrain its ability to make future deals happen. The company isn't particularly cheap, either, trading at 20 times its 12-month trailing enterprise value to EBITDA.
But, on the other side of the coin, Kinder Morgan is in fantastic shape, even if it is shouldering high debt levels. Long-term energy demand is expected to rise and Kinder Morgan is sitting pretty as the middleman between drillers and shipping terminals/refiners. Best of all, Kinder Morgan locks its contracts in for the long-term, meaning there's predictability to how much it'll make each quarter (thus only 6% of its cash flow exposed to current market conditions).
Given the company's high debt levels, it's probably best to assume its growth by acquisition will be slower in the coming quarters. However, considering its size, the expectation of growing global energy demand, and its premier 4.3% yield, I do believe Kinder Morgan could reasonably be worth $50 per share, or $107 billion, at some point in the future.
Sean Williams has no material interest in any companies mentioned in this article. You can follow him on CAPS under the screen name TMFUltraLong, track every pick he makes under the screen name TrackUltraLong, and check him out on Twitter, where he goes by the handle @TMFUltraLong.
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