By Arunima Kumar
(Reuters) -Kinder Morgan Inc surpassed Wall Street estimates for first-quarter profit on Wednesday as strong demand for jet fuel and natural gas boosted volumes at the U.S pipeline operator.
Exports of U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Europe have hit record levels after Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine as the European Union tries to cut its dependence on Russian energy.
That has come as a boon for U.S. pipeline operators, with Kinder Morgan – which transports nearly half of the natural gas in the country – posting a 2% rise in volumes of the commodity.
The company expects the trend to continue, saying that its present LNG export facilities would likely run at capacity for the foreseeable future.
“The U.S. will be a major supplier of additional LNG to Europe to replace at least in part Russian gas,” Executive Chairman Richard Kinder said on a call with analysts.
The results for the January-March quarter also got a boost from the resurgence in air travel, with volumes of jet fuel transported surging 38%.
But net income attributable to the company fell to $667 million, or 29 cents per share, from $1.41 billion, or 62 cents per share, a year earlier. Last year, the company had benefited from a winter storm that boosted demand for natural gas and electricity.
Excluding that impact, earnings per share rose 17%, the company said.
On an adjusted basis, Kinder Morgan earned 32 cents per share, beating the average analyst estimate of 29 cents per share, according to Refinitiv IBES data.
(Reporting by Arunima Kumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni)