What: Shares of Kinder Morgan (NYSE:KMI) were down by 10% at 11:00 a.m. EST on Wednesday. There wasn't any specific news pushing the stock down, instead, it's being weighed down by a lot of worry.
So what: The biggest worry weighing on the stock is the price of oil, which continues to fall down a bottomless pit, taking the market with it. By the mid-morning oil was down nearly 5% to just over $27 per barrel. That will have an impact on Kinder Morgan's cash flow given that it does produce some oil, however, the impact is very minor. Roughly 79% of the company's oil production in 2016 is hedged at $72 per barrel and 95% of its overall cash flow is hedged or fee-based. Because of that the company is expected to produce slightly more than $5 billion in cash flow in 2016, which is 8% ahead of last year.
The other thing weighing on investors' minds on Wednesday is the company's fourth-quarter earnings report, which is due out after the market closes today. That report should give investors a bit more insight into whether or not it will indeed meet its cash flow exceptions or if the continued weakness in the oil price is having a steeper impact on the company's operations and cash flow. In particular, investors are concerned that the company's volumes might begin to suffer if producers shut-in production as well as the potential for the company to cancel some of the projects in its backlog due to the impact low oil prices could have on its customers' plans.
Now what: The market is growing increasingly concerned about the long-term impact that low oil prices will have on energy-related companies like Kinder Morgan. The hope is that Kinder Morgan can address some of the specific worries facing it by delivering an earnings report that shows its cash flow and growth initiatives aren't being affected by the oil price decline. Having said that, any sign that more troubles are on the horizon could put more pressure on the company's stock price.
Matt DiLallo owns shares of Kinder Morgan and has the following options: short January 2018 $30 puts on Kinder Morgan and long January 2018 $30 calls on Kinder Morgan. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Kinder Morgan. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.