(Reuters) - Kinder Morgan Inc (KMI.N) reported lower-than-expected quarterly revenue for the ninth straight quarter as its pipelines transported lower volumes of oil and gas.
Pipeline companies, once seen as insulated from commodity price swings due to fixed-fee contracts, were hit hard by a more than 60 percent slump in oil prices since mid-2014 as cash-strapped oil and gas companies renegotiated contracts.
Kinder Morgan said natural gas transport volumes fell 2 percent in the quarter, however it expects future natural gas infrastructure to grow due to higher demand from gas-fired power generators, exports to Mexico and growth in the U.S. petrochemical industry.
The company reported a net profit attributable to shareholders of $170 million, or 8 cents per share, in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, compared with a loss of $721 million, or 32 cents per share, a year earlier.
Kinder Morgan said it paid $988 million lesser in charges in the fourth quarter compared to a year earlier. The year-ago quarter included a $1.15 billion impairment charge.
According to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S, the company earned 18 cents per share on an adjusted basis, in line with analysts' average estimate.
Revenue fell to $3.39 billion from $3.64 billion, missing analysts' average estimate of $3.54 billion.
Up to Wednesday's close of $22.44, the company's shares had risen about 73 percent in the last 12 months.
(Reporting by Komal Khettry in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel and Shounak Dasgupta)