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Guru Investment Theses on Kirby Corp

Third Avenue Management Comments on Kirby Corp - Dec 10, 2015

Kirby Corp. (NYSE:KEX) is the largest chemical tank barge operator in the United States. While many shipping companies tend to be commodity businesses with low margins and volatile earnings, Kirby is different. Margins on its inland and coastal barge businesses are near 25%, a profile you would expect in a consumer staple company rather than a chemical barge operator. Kirby’s margin profile results from two sources: industry structure and dominant positioning. Kirby operates in a Jones Act market. The Jones Act is a protectionist policy implemented by the United States government in the 1920s, which requires that all goods transported between US ports be carried on domestically constructed, US-flagged ships that are owned and crewed by US citizens. This structural barrier-to-entry lowers competition and creates high margins for the entire industry. In its markets, Kirby controls close to 30% of industry barges, well beyond its closest competition. Kirby therefore is able to lead on pricing in the market and on average has been able to raise prices above inflation.

Kirby’s management maintains an unlevered capital structure with significant liquidity, positioning itself to make acquisitions during times of industry distress when it can pick up quality assets at large discounts. However, like all managements, Kirby is not flawless. Indeed, it is the negative impact of the 2011 acquisition of United Engineers, a manufacturer and servicer of fracking equipment that contributed significantly to the decline in Kirby’s shares from a year ago ($125 to $61), which gave us the opportunity to initiate this position. While clearly the earnings and revenue from this acquisition have disappointed, we believe the selloff is overdone. United Engineers only accounts for 10% of Kirby’s operating income, and even with our valuation ascribing no value for this segment, we still see significant upside from today’s stock price. Kirby’s core barge operations are healthy, with spot rates close to current contract rates and it is still operating at 90%-95% utilization. More importantly, the chemical industry has committed to over $100 billion of capital expenditures through 2020 to build new chemical plants, setting up the industry for an increase in demand outpacing the current excess supply. At our purchase cost, we see almost 50% upside to our $90 mid case NAV.

From Third Avenue Management (Trades, Portfolio)'s Small-Cap Value Fund fourth quarter 2015 portfolio manager commentary.

Check out Martin Whitman latest stock trades

Top Ranked Articles about Kirby Corp

Third Avenue Management Comments on Kirby Corp Guru stock highlight
Kirby Corp. (NYSE:KEX) is the largest chemical tank barge operator in the United States. While many shipping companies tend to be commodity businesses with low margins and volatile earnings, Kirby is different. Margins on its inland and coastal barge businesses are near 25%, a profile you would expect in a consumer staple company rather than a chemical barge operator. Kirby’s margin profile results from two sources: industry structure and dominant positioning. Kirby operates in a Jones Act market. The Jones Act is a protectionist policy implemented by the United States government in the 1920s, which requires that all goods transported between US ports be carried on domestically constructed, US-flagged ships that are owned and crewed by US citizens. This structural barrier-to-entry lowers competition and creates high margins for the entire industry. In its markets, Kirby controls close to 30% of industry barges, well beyond its closest competition. Kirby therefore is able to lead on pricing in the market and on average has been able to raise prices above inflation. Read more...
» More Articles for KEX

Ratios

vs
industry
vs
history
P/E(ttm) 12.24
KEX's P/E(ttm) is ranked higher than
62% of the 955 Companies
in the Global Shipping & Ports industry.

( Industry Median: 14.24 vs. KEX: 12.24 )
Ranked among companies with meaningful P/E(ttm) only.
KEX' s P/E(ttm) Range Over the Past 10 Years
Min: 7.24  Med: 19.39 Max: 26.29
Current: 12.24
7.24
26.29
Forward P/E 14.68
KEX's Forward P/E is ranked lower than
64% of the 559 Companies
in the Global Shipping & Ports industry.

( Industry Median: 11.64 vs. KEX: 14.68 )
Ranked among companies with meaningful Forward P/E only.
N/A
PE(NRI) 12.24
KEX's PE(NRI) is ranked higher than
62% of the 728 Companies
in the Global Shipping & Ports industry.

( Industry Median: 14.30 vs. KEX: 12.24 )
Ranked among companies with meaningful PE(NRI) only.
KEX' s PE(NRI) Range Over the Past 10 Years
Min: 7.15  Med: 19.36 Max: 26.2
Current: 12.24
7.15
26.2
P/B 1.31
KEX's P/B is ranked lower than
68% of the 956 Companies
in the Global Shipping & Ports industry.

( Industry Median: 0.88 vs. KEX: 1.31 )
Ranked among companies with meaningful P/B only.
KEX' s P/B Range Over the Past 10 Years
Min: 1.14  Med: 2.45 Max: 3.96
Current: 1.31
1.14
3.96
P/S 1.28
KEX's P/S is ranked lower than
78% of the 955 Companies
in the Global Shipping & Ports industry.

( Industry Median: 0.63 vs. KEX: 1.28 )
Ranked among companies with meaningful P/S only.
KEX' s P/S Range Over the Past 10 Years
Min: 0.82  Med: 1.90 Max: 2.94
Current: 1.28
0.82
2.94
PFCF 28.15
KEX's PFCF is ranked lower than
67% of the 635 Companies
in the Global Shipping & Ports industry.

( Industry Median: 18.96 vs. KEX: 28.15 )
Ranked among companies with meaningful PFCF only.
KEX' s PFCF Range Over the Past 10 Years
Min: 8.08  Med: 32.75 Max: 3649
Current: 28.15
8.08
3649
POCF 6.04
KEX's POCF is ranked higher than
58% of the 956 Companies
in the Global Shipping & Ports industry.

( Industry Median: 7.02 vs. KEX: 6.04 )
Ranked among companies with meaningful POCF only.
KEX' s POCF Range Over the Past 10 Years
Min: 4  Med: 10.03 Max: 14.98
Current: 6.04
4
14.98
EV-to-EBIT 9.04
KEX's EV-to-EBIT is ranked higher than
73% of the 956 Companies
in the Global Shipping & Ports industry.

( Industry Median: 11.97 vs. KEX: 9.04 )
Ranked among companies with meaningful EV-to-EBIT only.
KEX' s EV-to-EBIT Range Over the Past 10 Years
Min: 5  Med: 12.70 Max: 16.5
Current: 9.04
5
16.5
EV-to-EBITDA 6.21
KEX's EV-to-EBITDA is ranked higher than
70% of the 955 Companies
in the Global Shipping & Ports industry.

( Industry Median: 8.05 vs. KEX: 6.21 )
Ranked among companies with meaningful EV-to-EBITDA only.
KEX' s EV-to-EBITDA Range Over the Past 10 Years
Min: 3.7  Med: 8.80 Max: 12
Current: 6.21
3.7
12
PEG 0.70
KEX's PEG is ranked higher than
77% of the 315 Companies
in the Global Shipping & Ports industry.

( Industry Median: 1.61 vs. KEX: 0.70 )
Ranked among companies with meaningful PEG only.
KEX' s PEG Range Over the Past 10 Years
Min: 0.33  Med: 1.51 Max: 6.2
Current: 0.7
0.33
6.2
Shiller P/E 16.04
KEX's Shiller P/E is ranked higher than
58% of the 263 Companies
in the Global Shipping & Ports industry.

( Industry Median: 18.16 vs. KEX: 16.04 )
Ranked among companies with meaningful Shiller P/E only.
KEX' s Shiller P/E Range Over the Past 10 Years
Min: 14.05  Med: 30.80 Max: 52.75
Current: 16.04
14.05
52.75
Current Ratio 1.72
KEX's Current Ratio is ranked higher than
71% of the 789 Companies
in the Global Shipping & Ports industry.

( Industry Median: 1.23 vs. KEX: 1.72 )
Ranked among companies with meaningful Current Ratio only.
KEX' s Current Ratio Range Over the Past 10 Years
Min: 1.05  Med: 1.47 Max: 2.66
Current: 1.72
1.05
2.66
Quick Ratio 1.24
KEX's Quick Ratio is ranked higher than
57% of the 789 Companies
in the Global Shipping & Ports industry.

( Industry Median: 1.13 vs. KEX: 1.24 )
Ranked among companies with meaningful Quick Ratio only.
KEX' s Quick Ratio Range Over the Past 10 Years
Min: 0.9  Med: 1.23 Max: 2.42
Current: 1.24
0.9
2.42
Days Inventory 41.52
KEX's Days Inventory is ranked lower than
78% of the 607 Companies
in the Global Shipping & Ports industry.

( Industry Median: 13.14 vs. KEX: 41.52 )
Ranked among companies with meaningful Days Inventory only.
KEX' s Days Inventory Range Over the Past 10 Years
Min: 12.18  Med: 24.36 Max: 39.81
Current: 41.52
12.18
39.81
Days Sales Outstanding 69.98
KEX's Days Sales Outstanding is ranked lower than
80% of the 575 Companies
in the Global Shipping & Ports industry.

( Industry Median: 41.96 vs. KEX: 69.98 )
Ranked among companies with meaningful Days Sales Outstanding only.
KEX' s Days Sales Outstanding Range Over the Past 10 Years
Min: 47.23  Med: 57.92 Max: 75.8
Current: 69.98
47.23
75.8
Days Payable 42.37
KEX's Days Payable is ranked higher than
57% of the 535 Companies
in the Global Shipping & Ports industry.

( Industry Median: 35.84 vs. KEX: 42.37 )
Ranked among companies with meaningful Days Payable only.
KEX' s Days Payable Range Over the Past 10 Years
Min: 29.81  Med: 45.95 Max: 51
Current: 42.37
29.81
51

Valuation & Return

vs
industry
vs
history
Price/Tangible Book 1.76
KEX's Price/Tangible Book is ranked lower than
66% of the 956 Companies
in the Global Shipping & Ports industry.

( Industry Median: 1.08 vs. KEX: 1.76 )
Ranked among companies with meaningful Price/Tangible Book only.
KEX' s Price/Tangible Book Range Over the Past 10 Years
Min: 1.36  Med: 3.17 Max: 5.65
Current: 1.76
1.36
5.65
Price/Projected FCF 0.77
KEX's Price/Projected FCF is ranked higher than
72% of the 601 Companies
in the Global Shipping & Ports industry.

( Industry Median: 1.47 vs. KEX: 0.77 )
Ranked among companies with meaningful Price/Projected FCF only.
KEX' s Price/Projected FCF Range Over the Past 10 Years
Min: 0.74  Med: 1.40 Max: 6.68
Current: 0.77
0.74
6.68
Price/DCF (Earnings Based) 0.58
KEX's Price/DCF (Earnings Based) is ranked higher than
86% of the 116 Companies
in the Global Shipping & Ports industry.

( Industry Median: 1.09 vs. KEX: 0.58 )
Ranked among companies with meaningful Price/DCF (Earnings Based) only.
N/A
Price/Median PS Value 0.67
KEX's Price/Median PS Value is ranked higher than
76% of the 955 Companies
in the Global Shipping & Ports industry.

( Industry Median: 0.86 vs. KEX: 0.67 )
Ranked among companies with meaningful Price/Median PS Value only.
KEX' s Price/Median PS Value Range Over the Past 10 Years
Min: 0.49  Med: 0.83 Max: 1.5
Current: 0.67
0.49
1.5
Price/Peter Lynch Fair Value 0.77
KEX's Price/Peter Lynch Fair Value is ranked higher than
75% of the 276 Companies
in the Global Shipping & Ports industry.

( Industry Median: 1.16 vs. KEX: 0.77 )
Ranked among companies with meaningful Price/Peter Lynch Fair Value only.
KEX' s Price/Peter Lynch Fair Value Range Over the Past 10 Years
Min: 0.43  Med: 1.44 Max: 4.06
Current: 0.77
0.43
4.06
Price/Graham Number 0.98
KEX's Price/Graham Number is ranked higher than
54% of the 854 Companies
in the Global Shipping & Ports industry.

( Industry Median: 0.96 vs. KEX: 0.98 )
Ranked among companies with meaningful Price/Graham Number only.
KEX' s Price/Graham Number Range Over the Past 10 Years
Min: 0.94  Med: 1.73 Max: 2.55
Current: 0.98
0.94
2.55
Earnings Yield (Greenblatt) (%) 10.99
KEX's Earnings Yield (Greenblatt) (%) is ranked higher than
79% of the 792 Companies
in the Global Shipping & Ports industry.

( Industry Median: 6.10 vs. KEX: 10.99 )
Ranked among companies with meaningful Earnings Yield (Greenblatt) (%) only.
KEX' s Earnings Yield (Greenblatt) (%) Range Over the Past 10 Years
Min: 6.1  Med: 7.90 Max: 19.9
Current: 10.99
6.1
19.9
Forward Rate of Return (Yacktman) (%) 20.60
KEX's Forward Rate of Return (Yacktman) (%) is ranked higher than
86% of the 450 Companies
in the Global Shipping & Ports industry.

( Industry Median: 1.88 vs. KEX: 20.60 )
Ranked among companies with meaningful Forward Rate of Return (Yacktman) (%) only.
KEX' s Forward Rate of Return (Yacktman) (%) Range Over the Past 10 Years
Min: 6  Med: 15.60 Max: 26
Current: 20.6
6
26

More Statistics

Revenue(Mil) $2148
EPS $ 4.11
Beta1.06
Short Percentage of Float6.91%
52-Week Range $44.63 - 84.24
Shares Outstanding(Mil)54.01

Analyst Estimate

Dec16 Dec17
Revenue(Mil) 1,804 1,852
EPS($) 3.28 3.56
EPS without NRI($) 3.28 3.56

Business Description

Industry: Transportation & Logistics » Shipping & Ports
Compare:AMKAF, NMM, TK, ISH, CMHHY » details
Traded in other countries:KIY.Germany,
Kirby Corp was incorporated in Nevada on January 31, 1969. The Company became publicly owned on September 30, 1976. The Company 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 transports petrochemicals, black oil, refined petroleum products and agricultural chemicals by tank barge. The Company also operates eight offshore barge and tug units transporting dry-bulk commodities in United States coastal trade. It conducts operations in two business segments: marine transportation and diesel engine services. The Company, through its marine transportation segment, is a provider of marine transportation services, operating tank barges and towing vessels 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 transports petrochemicals, black oil, refined petroleum products and agricultural chemicals by tank barge. The Company operates offshore dry-bulk barge and tugboat units engaged in the offshore transportation of dry-bulk cargoes in United States coastal trade. The segment is a provider of transportation services for its customers and, in almost all cases, does not assume ownership of the products that it transports. All of the Company's vessels operate under the United States flag and are qualified for domestic trade under the Jones Act. The Company, through its diesel engine services segment, sells genuine replacement parts, provides service mechanics to overhaul and repair medium-speed and high-speed diesel engines, transmissions, reduction gears, pumps and compression products, maintains facilities to rebuild component parts or entire medium-speed and high-speed diesel engines, transmissions and entire reduction gears, and manufactures and remanufactures oilfield service equipment, including pressure pumping units. The Company primarily services the marine, power generation and land-based oil and gas operator and producer markets. The Company's marine transportation operations are subject to regulation by the USCG, federal laws, state laws and certain international conventions.
» More Articles for KEX

Headlines

Articles On GuruFocus.com
Third Avenue Management Comments on Kirby Corp Dec 10 2015 
Third Avenue's Small-Cap Value Fund 4th Quarter Portfolio Manager Commentary Dec 10 2015 
Kirby Corporation: This Tanker Company Is A Buy Jul 28 2015 
Weekly CEO Sells Highlight: Workday Inc., Kirby Corp., Mylan Inc., Infinera Corporation Sep 09 2013 
Kirby Corp. Reports Operating Results (10-Q) Nov 05 2010 
Kirby Corp. Reports Operating Results (10-Q) Aug 09 2010 
Kirby Corp. Reports Operating Results (10-Q) May 06 2010 
Kirby Corp. (KEX) Chairman of the Board Charles Berdon Lawrence sells 28,400 Shares Dec 15 2009 
Kirby Corp. (KEX) Chairman of the Board Charles Berdon Lawrence sells 57,900 Shares Dec 11 2009 
Kirby Corp. (KEX) Chairman of the Board Charles Berdon Lawrence sells 63,700 Shares Dec 09 2009 

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