Morningstar Rating

Stock Research and Analysis

by Matthew Young, CFA

Bulls Say

Healthy U.S. petrochemical production should remain a tailwind for Kirby's inland marine transport business during the next year, driven in part by low-cost natural gas in the U.S.
The firm's coastal fleet utilization is recovering thanks to solid demand for the movement of shale oil to domestic refineries.
The Jones Act, which restricts domestic marine transportation to U.S.-based operators, protects the inland and coastwise barging industry from foreign competition. Read more 

Bears Say

Demand for new hydraulic fracturing equipment in the United segment is facing cyclical pressure as low natural gas prices are driving customers to reduce capital expenditures (less of an incentive to drill).
The U.S. inland waterway system is aging, with more than half of its locks and dams in excess of 50 years old--a factor that increases the risk of service disruptions for Kirby.
The firm's coastwise and inland barging operations are subject to service disruptions and other inefficiencies caused by adverse weather such as hurricanes and high or low water levels. Read more 


As previously announced, David Grzebinski, who had been CFO since early 2010, recently stepped in as CEO following the retirement of Joseph Pyne, who originally took the reins in 1995. Overall, we consider management compensation to be reasonable compared   Read more 


In its flagship marine transportation segment (75% of sales), Kirby operates the largest fleet of tank barges on the U.S. inland waterway system. Since its incorporation   Read more 

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