Kirby (KEX) Stock Rating Lowered by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Kirby (NYSE:KEX) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note released on Tuesday, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Kirby Corporation have rallied 26.5% so far this year, outperforming the industry's 20.8% increase. Ushering in further good news, the company reported better-than-expected earnings per share and revenues in first-quarter 2019. Results were aided by increased sales at the marine transportation division. Revenues at the marine transportation unit inched up 8.1% to $368.12 million. Segmental operating income skyrocketed more than 100% to $35.4 million. Kirby's growth-by-acquisition strategy is also appreciative. The most recent buyout (marine transportation fleet of Cenac Marine Services) has bolstered its fleet.  However, disappointing performance of the distribution and services unit in the first quarter raises concerns. High debt levels are also worrisome.”

Several other analysts have also recently issued reports on the stock. Bank of America raised shares of Kirby from an underperform rating to a buy rating in a research note on Friday, May 3rd. TheStreet raised shares of Kirby from a c+ rating to a b rating in a research note on Thursday, May 2nd. Wells Fargo & Co boosted their price objective on shares of Kirby from $74.00 to $80.00 and gave the company a market perform rating in a research note on Wednesday, April 24th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Finally, BTIG Research started coverage on shares of Kirby in a research note on Friday, January 25th. They set a neutral rating and a $67.40 price objective for the company. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $86.60.

Shares of KEX opened at $83.10 on Tuesday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.44, a current ratio of 1.80 and a quick ratio of 0.97. The firm has a market capitalization of $4.97 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 29.06, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.65 and a beta of 1.11. Kirby has a fifty-two week low of $60.63 and a fifty-two week high of $94.05.

Kirby (NYSE:KEX) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, May 2nd. The shipping company reported $0.74 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.72 by $0.02. The company had revenue of $744.60 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $737.78 million. Kirby had a return on equity of 5.53% and a net margin of 3.04%. Kirby’s revenue was up .4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $0.67 EPS. On average, analysts forecast that Kirby will post 3.5 EPS for the current year.

In related news, VP Ronald A. Dragg sold 500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, May 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $84.00, for a total transaction of $42,000.00. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now directly owns 10,386 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $872,424. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, insider Dorman Lynn Strahan sold 3,071 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, May 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $84.89, for a total transaction of $260,697.19. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 23,784 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,019,023.76. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders have sold 16,971 shares of company stock valued at $1,355,459. 1.80% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. King Luther Capital Management Corp boosted its position in Kirby by 2.6% during the 1st quarter. King Luther Capital Management Corp now owns 2,025,992 shares of the shipping company’s stock worth $152,172,000 after purchasing an additional 51,030 shares during the period. Rockefeller Capital Management L.P. purchased a new stake in Kirby during the 1st quarter worth $64,000. Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB boosted its position in Kirby by 184.0% during the 1st quarter. Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB now owns 9,879 shares of the shipping company’s stock worth $742,000 after purchasing an additional 6,400 shares during the period. Swiss National Bank boosted its position in Kirby by 3.0% during the 1st quarter. Swiss National Bank now owns 27,257 shares of the shipping company’s stock worth $2,047,000 after purchasing an additional 800 shares during the period. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company MN boosted its position in Kirby by 1.0% during the 1st quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 488,459 shares of the shipping company’s stock worth $36,688,000 after purchasing an additional 4,730 shares during the period. 96.58% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Kirby Company Profile

Kirby Corporation operates domestic tank barges in the United States. Its 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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