By the OGJ Online Staff
HOUSTON, Sept. 17, 2001 — Amid the gloom, diversified energy companies Kinder Morgan Inc., Houston, and Mirant Corp., Atlanta, Ga., Monday issued optimistic earnings assessments for the third quarter and 2001.
Kinder Morgan said it expected to meet or beat the consensus 2001 earnings estimate of $1.88/share, a nearly 47% increase over year 2000 recurring earnings of $1.28/share. The Houston company also said it expected third quarter earnings will meet or beat the consensus estimate of 45-/share.
Chairman Richard D. Kinder said the company is producing significant cash flow, with Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, serving as the primary earnings driver. Additionally, he said, Natural Gas Pipeline Co. of America has done an outstanding job of recontracting roll-over capacity and also expects to add more electric generation load than previously anticipated.
The company expects to complete a share repurchase plan, which will immediately add to earnings per share, by the end of 2002. Kinder said company projected earnings per share to grow 30-35% in 2002.
Mirant reported it increased earnings expectations to at least 65-/share for the third quarter. The company had been forecasting earnings of 60-/share for the period.
Additionally, the company is forecasting year-end 2001 earnings of at least $1.95/share, up from the previous forecast of $1.90. Projected earnings for 2001 excludes the impact of an after-tax write-off of $57 million or 16-/share on Mirant’s investment in Edelnor, recognized earlier this year. The company continues to project 2002 earnings per diluted share of $2.55-$2.65, after adding about 20-/share for new accounting rules pertaining to good will and intangibles.
Mirant also said the board approved the repurchase of up to 10 million shares of Mirant common stock, effective immediately, for the next 30 days