Kirby (KEX) Rating Increased to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Kirby (NYSE:KEX) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a note issued to investors on Thursday.

According to Zacks, “Kirby Corporation operates a fleet of inland tank barges. It is the nation’s largest domestic tank barge operator transporting bulk liquid products throughout the Mississippi River System, on the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, coastwise along all three United States coasts, and in Alaska and Hawaii. Kirby transports petrochemicals, black oil, refined petroleum products and agricultural chemicals by tank barge. Kirby also operates offshore dry-bulk barge and tugboat units engaged in the offshore transportation of dry-bulk cargoes in the United States coastal trade. Kirby also rents equipment including generators, fork lifts, pumps, and compressors for use in a variety of industrial markets, and manufactures and remanufactures oilfield service equipment, including pressure pumping units, for land-based oilfield service customers. “

Other equities analysts also recently issued reports about the stock. ValuEngine raised shares of Kirby from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, July 30th. Gabelli raised shares of Kirby from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $96.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Monday, July 30th. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co lowered their target price on shares of Kirby from $91.00 to $90.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a research report on Monday, October 29th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating and six have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $89.25.

Shares of NYSE KEX traded up $0.70 during mid-day trading on Thursday, reaching $74.11. The company had a trading volume of 426,875 shares, compared to its average volume of 553,245. Kirby has a twelve month low of $61.80 and a twelve month high of $94.05. The company has a current ratio of 1.86, a quick ratio of 1.17 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.45. The company has a market capitalization of $4.44 billion, a PE ratio of 27.55, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.98 and a beta of 1.00.

Kirby (NYSE:KEX) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, October 25th. The shipping company reported $0.70 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.64 by $0.06. The firm had revenue of $704.85 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $780.20 million. Kirby had a net margin of 11.30% and a return on equity of 5.09%. As a group, analysts predict that Kirby will post 2.82 EPS for the current year.

In other news, VP Ronald A. Dragg sold 500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $85.00, for a total value of $42,500.00. Following the sale, the vice president now directly owns 10,968 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $932,280. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Director J H. Pyne sold 52,934 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, August 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $87.88, for a total value of $4,651,839.92. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 225,233 shares in the company, valued at $19,793,476.04. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 58,104 shares of company stock worth $5,099,875 over the last three months. Company insiders own 2.40% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. BlackRock Inc. grew its position in shares of Kirby by 2.7% in the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 4,962,214 shares of the shipping company’s stock valued at $414,843,000 after purchasing an additional 128,826 shares during the last quarter. King Luther Capital Management Corp grew its position in shares of Kirby by 2.6% in the second quarter. King Luther Capital Management Corp now owns 1,991,901 shares of the shipping company’s stock valued at $166,523,000 after purchasing an additional 50,353 shares during the last quarter. Royce & Associates LP grew its position in shares of Kirby by 1.9% in the second quarter. Royce & Associates LP now owns 1,303,446 shares of the shipping company’s stock valued at $108,968,000 after purchasing an additional 24,730 shares during the last quarter. Bank of America Corp DE grew its position in shares of Kirby by 11.6% in the second quarter. Bank of America Corp DE now owns 1,070,573 shares of the shipping company’s stock valued at $89,499,000 after purchasing an additional 111,281 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Van ECK Associates Corp grew its position in shares of Kirby by 90.8% in the second quarter. Van ECK Associates Corp now owns 797,270 shares of the shipping company’s stock valued at $66,652,000 after purchasing an additional 379,470 shares during the last quarter. 90.29% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

About Kirby

Kirby Corporation operates domestic tank barges in the United States. It operates in two segments, Marine Transportation and Distribution and Services. The Marine Transportation segment provides marine transportation services and towing vessels transporting bulk liquid products, as well as operates tank barges throughout the Mississippi River System, on the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, coastwise along three United States coasts, and in Alaska and Hawaii.

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