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Kinder Morgan 1st-quarter net income jumps

HOUSTON (AP) -- Kinder Morgan Inc. said Wednesday its first-quarter net income rose sharply as the natural-gas pipeline operator's revenue from its pipelines rose and the company increased its quarterly dividend.

The Houston energy company said net income during the January-to-March quarter rose to $292 million, or 28 cents per share, from $21 million, or 3 cents per share, last year. Analysts expected 33 cents per share, according to FactSet.

Revenue rose 65 percent to $3.06 billion from $1.86 billion last year. Analysts expected revenue of $2.76 billion.

Kinder Morgan Chairman and CEO Richard D. Kinder said the company benefited from good results from its El Paso Pipeline Partners and natural gas assets, which it acquired in 2012. It also saw a strong performance from Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP.

The company also said its future results will be driven mainly by its ownership of the general partner of Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP and El Paso Pipeline Partners LP.

Kinder Morgan raised its quarterly dividend to 38 cents, up a penny from the fourth quarter. The dividend is payable May 16 to shareholders of record as of April 29.

CEO Kinder said the company is well positioned for growth in 2013, with $12 billion in expansion and joint venture investments identified across its companies.

Kinder Morgan expects to declare $1.57 annually in dividends in 2013, up 12 percent form 2012.

Kinder Morgan shares closed down 57 cents to $37.80, closer to the high end of its 52-week range of $30.51 to $39.39.