Kirby Co. (NYSE:KEX) saw unusually large options trading activity on Thursday. Stock traders acquired 3,245 call options on the company. This is an increase of approximately 4,470% compared to the typical daily volume of 71 call options.

Kirby (NYSE:KEX) opened at $74.80 on Friday. The company has a market cap of $4,420.56, a price-to-earnings ratio of 35.45, a PEG ratio of 3.86 and a beta of 1.04. Kirby has a 1-year low of $59.25 and a 1-year high of $75.10. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.36, a current ratio of 1.93 and a quick ratio of 1.23.

Kirby (NYSE:KEX) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, November 1st. The shipping company reported $0.52 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.44 by $0.08. The business had revenue of $541.30 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $517.54 million. Kirby had a net margin of 5.88% and a return on equity of 4.48%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 24.5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.59 EPS. analysts predict that Kirby will post 2.04 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Several institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in KEX. Prudential Financial Inc. increased its stake in Kirby by 1.2% in the 2nd quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 33,710 shares of the shipping company’s stock valued at $2,254,000 after buying an additional 410 shares during the period. Utah Retirement Systems increased its stake in Kirby by 1.0% in the 2nd quarter. Utah Retirement Systems now owns 9,739 shares of the shipping company’s stock valued at $651,000 after buying an additional 100 shares during the period. Principal Financial Group Inc. increased its stake in Kirby by 56.3% in the 2nd quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 339,935 shares of the shipping company’s stock valued at $22,724,000 after buying an additional 122,404 shares during the period. JPMorgan Chase & Co. increased its stake in Kirby by 20.9% in the 2nd quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 255,528 shares of the shipping company’s stock valued at $17,083,000 after buying an additional 44,118 shares during the period. Finally, Riverhead Capital Management LLC increased its stake in Kirby by 70.8% in the 2nd quarter. Riverhead Capital Management LLC now owns 3,929 shares of the shipping company’s stock valued at $263,000 after buying an additional 1,629 shares during the period. 96.58% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

KEX has been the topic of a number of research analyst reports. Stifel Nicolaus reissued a “hold” rating and set a $67.00 price objective on shares of Kirby in a report on Friday, November 3rd. Jefferies Group initiated coverage on shares of Kirby in a report on Monday, December 18th. They set a “buy” rating and a $85.00 price objective on the stock. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Kirby from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Thursday, January 4th. Finally, Stephens reissued a “hold” rating and set a $70.00 price objective on shares of Kirby in a report on Wednesday. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the stock. Kirby currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $74.50.

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Kirby Company Profile

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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