Kirby Sees Unusually High Options Volume (NYSE:KEX)

Kirby Co. (NYSE:KEX) saw unusually large options trading on Thursday. Investors acquired 3,245 call options on the stock. This is an increase of 4,470% compared to the typical daily volume of 71 call options.

Kirby (KEX) traded up $2.05 during trading hours on Monday, hitting $77.75. The stock had a trading volume of 1,505,738 shares, compared to its average volume of 534,547. Kirby has a 52-week low of $59.25 and a 52-week high of $80.90. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.36, a current ratio of 1.93 and a quick ratio of 1.23. The firm has a market cap of $4,519.06, a PE ratio of 14.45, a PEG ratio of 3.40 and a beta of 1.03.

Kirby (NYSE:KEX) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, January 31st. The shipping company reported $0.54 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.51 by $0.03. Kirby had a return on equity of 4.37% and a net margin of 14.14%. The firm had revenue of $708.10 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $612.61 million. During the same period last year, the firm earned $0.60 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 62.5% on a year-over-year basis. equities research analysts expect that Kirby will post 2.78 earnings per share for the current year.

Several equities research analysts have weighed in on KEX shares. Jefferies Group reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $85.00 price target on shares of Kirby in a research report on Monday, October 16th. Stifel Nicolaus reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $67.00 price target on shares of Kirby in a research report on Friday, November 3rd. Gabelli started coverage on Kirby in a research report on Tuesday, January 16th. They set a “hold” rating and a $80.00 price target on the stock. Stephens reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $70.00 price target on shares of Kirby in a research report on Wednesday, January 10th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research upgraded Kirby from a “strong sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, January 25th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $76.20.

Hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc. boosted its holdings in Kirby by 79.8% in the 3rd quarter. Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc. now owns 1,931 shares of the shipping company’s stock worth $127,000 after buying an additional 857 shares during the last quarter. Verition Fund Management LLC acquired a new stake in Kirby in the 2nd quarter worth about $204,000. State of Alaska Department of Revenue acquired a new stake in Kirby in the 4th quarter worth about $207,000. Trust Co acquired a new stake in Kirby in the 3rd quarter worth about $208,000. Finally, Boothbay Fund Management LLC acquired a new stake in Kirby in the 3rd quarter worth about $209,000. Institutional investors own 96.21% of the company’s stock.

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About Kirby

Kirby Corporation is a 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. The Company, through its subsidiaries, operates in two segments: Marine Transportation and Diesel Engine Services.

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