Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Kinder Morgan (NYSE:KMI) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note released on Tuesday. Zacks Investment Research currently has $19.00 price target on the pipeline company’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Kinder Morgan has the largest network of natural gas pipeline in North America that spreads over almost 70,000 miles. Most importantly, the company’s midstream properties are linked to all the prospective plays in the United States that are rich in natural gas. These extensive pipeline networks, for which billions of dollars have been invested to date, have been providing Kinder Morgan with stable fee-based revenues. In fact, the company generated majority of its cash flow in 2017 from stable fee-based contracts.  In particular, we expect Kinder Morgan to seize attractive investment opportunities in the Eagle Ford and Haynesville shale plays. Such positives are likely to boost future earnings as well. Also, the midstream player posted an average positive earnings surprise of 4.6% over the prior four quarters. “

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Other analysts have also issued research reports about the stock. UBS Group reiterated a buy rating and issued a $26.00 target price (down previously from $28.00) on shares of Kinder Morgan in a research report on Friday, March 2nd. Argus upgraded shares of Kinder Morgan from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report on Monday, January 29th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Credit Suisse Group set a $22.00 target price on shares of Kinder Morgan and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Monday, February 12th. Royal Bank of Canada reiterated a hold rating and issued a $22.00 target price on shares of Kinder Morgan in a research report on Wednesday, November 15th. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co reiterated a market perform rating on shares of Kinder Morgan in a research report on Thursday, January 11th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have issued a hold rating and thirteen have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $22.50.

Shares of Kinder Morgan (NYSE:KMI) opened at $16.50 on Tuesday. Kinder Morgan has a 52-week low of $15.86 and a 52-week high of $21.92. The company has a market cap of $36,510.41, a price-to-earnings ratio of 24.70, a P/E/G ratio of 1.69 and a beta of 0.62. The company has a current ratio of 0.44, a quick ratio of 0.37 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.00.

Kinder Morgan (NYSE:KMI) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, January 17th. The pipeline company reported $0.21 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.18 by $0.03. Kinder Morgan had a net margin of 1.34% and a return on equity of 4.38%. The business had revenue of $3.63 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.52 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $0.08 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 7.2% compared to the same quarter last year. equities analysts expect that Kinder Morgan will post 0.85 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, February 15th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, January 31st were paid a $0.125 dividend. This represents a $0.50 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.03%. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, January 30th. Kinder Morgan’s dividend payout ratio is currently 5,000.00%.

In other Kinder Morgan news, Director William A. Smith purchased 5,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, January 22nd. The shares were purchased at an average cost of $19.52 per share, with a total value of $107,360.00. Following the completion of the purchase, the director now owns 14,587 shares in the company, valued at approximately $284,738.24. The acquisition was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Company insiders own 13.99% of the company’s stock.

Large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Welch Investments LLC purchased a new position in shares of Kinder Morgan in the third quarter worth about $102,000. Valeo Financial Advisors LLC purchased a new position in Kinder Morgan during the third quarter worth about $104,000. CoreCommodity Management LLC purchased a new position in Kinder Morgan during the fourth quarter worth about $113,000. Sit Investment Associates Inc. raised its stake in Kinder Morgan by 237.1% during the fourth quarter. Sit Investment Associates Inc. now owns 6,725 shares of the pipeline company’s stock worth $122,000 after purchasing an additional 4,730 shares during the period. Finally, Cerebellum GP LLC purchased a new position in Kinder Morgan during the fourth quarter worth about $126,000. 62.63% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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About Kinder Morgan

Kinder Morgan, Inc is an energy infrastructure company. It operates through five segments. Its Natural Gas Pipelines segment is engaged in the ownership and operation of interstate and intrastate natural gas pipeline and storage systems, and liquefied natural gas facilities, among others. Its CO2 segment is engaged in the production, transportation and marketing of carbon dioxide (CO2) to oil fields and the ownership and operation of a crude oil pipeline system, among others.

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