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Here's Why You Should Hold on to Kinder Morgan (KMI) Stock Now

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Kinder Morgan Inc. (KMI - Free Report) , among the largest energy infrastructure companies in North America, has surged 13.6% quarter to date and is likely to see earnings growth of 3% in the next five years.

Factors in Favor

The company, carrying a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold), has a gigantic network of pipeline assets that generate stable fee-based revenues. The natural gas transportation network of Kinder Morgan is the largest in North America and spreads across 70,000 miles. The pipeline networks connect prolific natural gas plays in the United States with key markets demanding the commodity. Moreover, the company’s midstream assets transport 40% of the natural gas that are consumed in the United States and sent for export.

Kinder Morgan’s pipeline network also transports crude oil and refined products. The company’s oil pipeline network covers roughly 3,100 miles, while the pipeline assets carrying refined products spread over almost 6,800 miles.

Overall, the company’s business model is relatively stable and is less exposed to volatility in oil and natural gas prices. In fact, with its stable business model, the company has been able to increase first-quarter 2020 dividend by 5% to 26.25 cents ($1.05 annualized). Investors should also note that with its giant network of natural gas pipeline, the midstream energy firm is well poised to capitalize on demand for clean energy.

Risks

As of the March quarter of 2020, the company’s backlog stood at $3.3 billion compared with the peak of $22 billion in mid-2015. Kinder Morgan has lost significant backlog with the divestment of Trans Mountain Pipeline and associated properties. This will likely dent the company’s future cashflow.

Moreover, owing to the depressed commodity pricing scenario, led by the coronavirus pandemic, the midstream energy firm was able to increase dividend by only 5% against the prior expectation of 25%.

Also, Kinder Morgan has significant debt exposure. In fact, the company’s debt-to-capitalization ratio has consistently been higher than the composite stocks belonging to the energy sector. This reflects a more levered balance sheet.

Stocks to Consider

Better-ranked players in the energy sector are Murphy USA Inc (MUSA - Free Report) , Key Energy Services, Inc. (KEGX - Free Report) and CNX Resources Corporation (CNX - Free Report) . While Murphy and Key Energy sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), CNX Resources carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Murphy USA is likely to see earnings growth of 7% in the next five years.

Key Energy is expected to witness bottom-line growth of 97.2% in 2020.

CNX Resources has witnessed upward estimate revisions for 2020 bottom line in the past 60 days.

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