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Kinder Morgan Inc. (KMI - Analyst Report) and Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP (KMP - Analyst Report) released its preliminary 2014 estimates.

Per the estimates, strong growth is expected throughout the Kinder Morgan family of companies, wherein $14.4 billion worth of projects have been identified in expansion and joint venture investments.

Kinder Morgan Inc. is likely to declare dividends of $1.72 per share for 2014, up about 10% from its 2013 budget target of $1.57 per share and about 8% from the $1.60 per share dividends it expects to declare for 2013.

The continued strong performance at Kinder Morgan Energy Partners and contributions from El Paso Pipeline Partners, L.P. (EPB - Snapshot Report) are likely to be the primary growth drivers at Kinder Morgan Inc. Partial dampeners would be the loss of income from 2013 and anticipated dropdowns of certain assets to KMP and EPB in 2014.

The assets expected to be dropped down by Kinder Morgan Inc. include interests of 50% in Ruby Pipeline, 50% in Gulf LNG and 47.5% in Young Gas Storage to EPB during 2014. The dropdowns are subject to appropriate board approvals.

Kinder Morgan Energy Partners is expected to distribute cash of $5.58 per unit in 2014, up about 6% from its 2013 budget target of $5.28 per unit and about 5% from its current expectation of $5.33.

During 2014, Kinder Morgan Energy Partners is expected to generate about $6.4 billion in business segment earnings before DD&A, an increase of around $750 million over the 2013 forecast. The partnership also intends to distribute over $2.5 billion to its limited partners and invest around $3.6 billion in expansion and small acquisitions.

Both Kinder Morgan Inc. and Kinder Morgan Energy Partners carry a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). A better-ranked stock in the oil and gas sector is SM Energy Company (SM - Analyst Report), which holds a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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