Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, L.P. today increased its quarterly cash distribution per common unit to $0.83 ($3.32 annualized) from $0.81 per unit.
Payable on Feb. 14, 2007, to unitholders of record as of Jan. 31, 2007, the distribution is a 4 percent increase over the fourth quarter 2005 cash distribution per unit of $0.80 ($3.20 annualized). This is the 28th distribution increase since current management took over 10 years ago. In total, KMP declared cash distributions for 2006 of $3.26 per unit compared to $3.13 per unit for 2005, but below its published annual budget of $3.28. The excess of distributable cash flow above distributions for 2006 is approximately $6 million.
KMP reported 2006 net income before certain items of $958.6 million, or $1.98 per unit, compared to net income before certain items of $982.3 million, or $2.37 per unit, in 2005. For the fourth quarter, KMP had net income before certain items of $245.9 million, or $0.55 per unit, versus $256.5 million, or $0.59 per unit, for the comparable quarter in 2005.
The certain items in the fourth quarter pertained to costs and insurance recoveries associated with hurricanes Katrina and Rita and resulted in a gain of $8.6 million. For the year, KMP recorded a net gain of $13.4 million from certain items, the remainder of which were detailed in the second quarter earnings release. Including certain items, KMP reported 2006 net income of $972.1 million, or $2.04 per unit, compared to 2005 net income of $812.2 million, or $1.58 per unit. Including certain items for the fourth quarter, KMP had net income of $254.6 million, or $0.59 per unit, compared to $121.4 million, or ($0.02) per unit in the same period the previous year.