Kirby (KEX) Stock Rating Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Kirby (NYSE:KEX) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report sent 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. “

KEX has been the subject of a number of other reports. ValuEngine cut Kirby from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 24th. Wells Fargo & Co lowered their target price on Kirby from $91.00 to $90.00 and set a buy rating for the company in a research note on Monday, October 29th. Finally, Gabelli raised Kirby from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $96.00 target price for the company in a research note on Monday, July 30th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating and six have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $89.25.

NYSE KEX opened at $74.11 on Thursday. Kirby has a 52-week low of $61.80 and a 52-week high of $94.05. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.45, a current ratio of 1.86 and a quick ratio of 1.17. The company has a market cap of $4.44 billion, a P/E ratio of 36.15, 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 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.64 by $0.06. Kirby had a return on equity of 5.09% and a net margin of 11.30%. The business had revenue of $704.85 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $780.20 million. As a group, sell-side analysts expect that Kirby will post 2.82 earnings per share for the current year.

In other news, insider Christian G. O’neil sold 1,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $86.75, for a total transaction of $130,125.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, VP Ronald A. Dragg sold 500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $85.00, for a total transaction of $42,500.00. Following the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 10,968 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $932,280. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 58,104 shares of company stock valued at $5,099,875 over the last ninety days. Company insiders own 2.40% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. Monarch Partners Asset Management LLC lifted its stake in Kirby by 69.3% in the third quarter. Monarch Partners Asset Management LLC now owns 176,540 shares of the shipping company’s stock valued at $14,520,000 after buying an additional 72,240 shares during the period. Engineers Gate Manager LP acquired a new position in Kirby in the third quarter valued at approximately $206,000. USA Financial Portformulas Corp acquired a new position in Kirby in the third quarter valued at approximately $578,000. TCW Group Inc. lifted its stake in Kirby by 3.1% in the third quarter. TCW Group Inc. now owns 50,573 shares of the shipping company’s stock valued at $4,160,000 after buying an additional 1,533 shares during the period. Finally, Arizona State Retirement System lifted its stake in Kirby by 2.6% in the third quarter. Arizona State Retirement System now owns 38,262 shares of the shipping company’s stock valued at $3,147,000 after buying an additional 960 shares during the period. 90.29% of the stock is 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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