Kirby Corp. (NYSE:KEX)‘s stock had its “sell” rating restated by stock analysts at Wells Fargo & Co. in a report issued on Tuesday.

The analysts wrote, “We looked at every competitor with at least 100 tank barges as potential M&A scenarios – ie. (names we think are large enough to move the needle for KEX), and narrowed it down to the 3-4 options we believe are the most viable. That list includes Ingram, Higman Marine, Blessey Marine Services, and American River Tankers – with Higman Marine making the most sense to us. Specifically, we screened for ownership structure, debt profile/balance sheet strength, market position/growth pipeline (is the firm currently expanding), and fleet size/diversification.  Have Inland Pricing Dynamics Shifted Since Our July Downgrade? Not materially. We do not believe this summer’s flooding issues had a meaningful impact on pricing/available capacity, and all indications suggest that the inland barge market remains subdued near its July lows.””

A number of other research analysts have also issued reports on the stock. Jefferies Group reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Kirby Corp. in a research note on Monday, August 29th. Credit Suisse Group AG lowered shares of Kirby Corp. from an “outperform” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $60.00 target price on the stock. in a research note on Tuesday, June 21st. Vetr lowered shares of Kirby Corp. from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating and set a $53.00 target price on the stock. in a research note on Monday, August 8th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Kirby Corp. from a “hold” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday, June 7th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Kirby Corp. currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $63.69.

Analyst Recommendations for Kirby Corp. (NYSE:KEX)

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Shares of Kirby Corp. (NYSE:KEX) traded up 2.61% during mid-day trading on Tuesday, hitting $58.49. 448,059 shares of the stock traded hands. The company has a market cap of $3.15 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.16 and a beta of 1.11. Kirby Corp. has a 52 week low of $44.63 and a 52 week high of $73.25. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $54.45 and a 200-day moving average of $61.40.

Kirby Corp. (NYSE:KEX) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, July 27th. The company reported $0.72 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.70 by $0.02. Kirby Corp. had a net margin of 9.63% and a return on equity of 8.02%. The business had revenue of $441.60 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $454.12 million. During the same period last year, the business posted $1.04 EPS. Kirby Corp.’s revenue was down 18.7% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts anticipate that Kirby Corp. will post $2.61 EPS for the current year.

Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Atlanta Capital Management Co. L L C increased its position in Kirby Corp. by 49.7% in the first quarter. Atlanta Capital Management Co. L L C now owns 3,286,493 shares of the company’s stock worth $198,143,000 after buying an additional 1,091,721 shares during the last quarter. Royce & Associates LP boosted its stake in shares of Kirby Corp. by 755.0% in the first quarter. Royce & Associates LP now owns 1,052,500 shares of the company’s stock worth $63,455,000 after buying an additional 929,400 shares during the period. RS Investment Management Co. LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Kirby Corp. during the second quarter worth about $52,392,000. Vaughan Nelson Investment Management L.P. purchased a new stake in shares of Kirby Corp. during the fourth quarter worth about $39,840,000. Finally, Neuberger Berman Group LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Kirby Corp. during the second quarter worth about $39,343,000. 99.43% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

About Kirby Corp.

Kirby Corporation is a domestic tank barge operator, transporting bulk liquid products. The Company, through its subsidiaries, operates in two 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 the three United States coasts and in Alaska and Hawaii.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:KEX

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