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UPDATE 1-Kinder Morgan has higher 4th-qtr profit, distribution

Wednesday, 15 Jan 2014 | 4:53 PM ET

Jan 15 (Reuters) - Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP, the largest U.S. pipeline company, said on Wednesday its quarterly income and distributions rose in the fourth quarter, helped by acquisitions.

The Houston-based master limited partnership's (MLP) quarterly distribution rose to $1.36 per unit, up 5 percent. The partnership's distributable cash flow rose 28 percent from a year earlier to $635 million.

MLPs, a corporate structure favored by energy companies, grow through acquisition and pay no taxes because nearly all profits are paid out to investors in the form of distributions.

Including certain items, the partnership's net income was $818 million compared with $647 million for the fourth quarter last year.

Kinder Morgan Inc, the MLP's general partner with a controlling stake, acquired Copano Energy LLC in May 2013 and also bought the pipeline and gather assets of El Paso Corp in May 2012.

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