What: Shares of Kinder Morgan (KMI 0.54%) were up as much as 11% by 11:00 a.m. EST on Friday. Some of that rally is being fueled by the follow though of buying after the company released a solid fourth-quarter report Wednesday evening. In addition to that, the price of crude oil had jumped 6.5% to more than $31 per barrel by mid-morning, which sent nearly everything oil-related up sharply.
So what: Yesterday, analysts and investors cheered Kinder Morgan's fourth-quarter results, sending its stock up double digits. Because expectations were so low heading into the report, the company was able to handily beat analysts' estimates. Further, the company also hinted that its decision to scale back its 2016 capex spending could lead to either a stock buyback or higher a dividend before the year is out.
Another catalyst of this newfound enthusiasm in Kinder Morgan is the fact the price of oil has rebounded sharply over the past few days. Crude seemed to hit bottom, at below $28 a barrel on Wednesday, and has rallied sharply the past two days, up more than 10%. That's good news for Kinder Morgan because it has some minor exposure to the oil price, with every $1 change in the price of oil over the course of the year versus its budget impacting cash flow by $7 million. That said, for a company that's expected to produce roughly $5 billion in cash flow this year, the impact of the recent move is very minor.
Now what: Investors seem to finally realize that Kinder Morgan's exposure to the oil market downturn is rather limited. With the company recently reiterating the strength of its underlying business and cash flow, it has put an end to some of fears that had rattled investors in recent weeks.