Kirby Co. (NYSE:KEX) was the recipient of some unusual options trading activity on Wednesday. Stock traders acquired 3,120 call options on the stock. This is an increase of 4,294% compared to the typical volume of 71 call options.

KEX has been the subject of several research reports. BidaskClub raised shares of Kirby from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Saturday, August 26th. Jefferies Group reissued a “buy” rating and set a $85.00 price objective on shares of Kirby in a report on Monday, October 16th. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus reissued a “hold” rating and set a $67.00 price objective on shares of Kirby in a report on Friday, November 3rd. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $75.40.

Hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc. increased its holdings in Kirby by 79.8% during the third quarter. Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc. now owns 1,931 shares of the shipping company’s stock valued at $127,000 after buying an additional 857 shares during the last quarter. Huntington National Bank increased its holdings in Kirby by 11.3% during the second quarter. Huntington National Bank now owns 2,453 shares of the shipping company’s stock valued at $164,000 after buying an additional 249 shares during the last quarter. Verition Fund Management LLC purchased a new stake in Kirby during the second quarter valued at approximately $204,000. Boothbay Fund Management LLC purchased a new stake in Kirby during the third quarter valued at approximately $209,000. Finally, Cornerstone Capital Management Holdings LLC. purchased a new stake in Kirby during the second quarter valued at approximately $233,000. 96.59% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Kirby (KEX) opened at $66.60 on Friday. The company has a current ratio of 1.93, a quick ratio of 1.23 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.36. Kirby has a twelve month low of $59.25 and a twelve month high of $74.50. The firm has a market cap of $4,017.61, a P/E ratio of 31.90, a PEG ratio of 4.19 and a beta of 1.04.

Kirby (NYSE:KEX) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, November 1st. The shipping company reported $0.52 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.44 by $0.08. Kirby had a net margin of 5.88% and a return on equity of 4.48%. The firm had revenue of $541.30 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $517.54 million. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $0.59 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 24.5% on a year-over-year basis. analysts anticipate that Kirby will post 2.01 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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About Kirby

Kirby Corporation 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, through its subsidiaries, operates in two segments: Marine Transportation and Diesel Engine Services.

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