ONEOK Inc sees 18 percent profit growth in 2012-14

Wed May 23, 2012 5:50pm EDT

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(Reuters) - Natural gas processor ONEOK Inc (OKE.N) said it expects profit to grow by 18 percent in the next two years as it ramps up spending to boost output at its unit ONEOK Partners LP (OKS.N).

The company also expects to boost its annual dividend by about 40 percent between 2012 and 2014. It paid an annual dividend of $2.16 per share in 2011.

"Projected dividend and net income growth at ONEOK is expected to be driven primarily by natural gas and natural gas liquids volume growth at ONEOK Partners," Chief Executive John Gibson said at ONEOK's annual shareholders meeting.

The unit, in which the company holds a 43.4 percent interest, is expected to complete its $5 billion growth program by 2015, ONEOK Inc said in a statement.

ONEOK Partners expects its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) to rise by about 20 percent annually between 2012 and 2014.

The parent company also plans to invest an additional $4.7 billion to $5.6 billion to boost production at its existing assets.

Shares of ONEOK Inc, which has a market value of $8.6 billion, closed at $82.81 on Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange. Shares of ONEOK Partners closed at $55.42 on the same exchange.

(Reporting by Divya Lad in Bangalore; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)

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