Critical Analysis: Kenon (KEN) and Kirby (KEX)

Kenon (NYSE: KEN) and Kirby (NYSE:KEX) are both utilities companies, but which is the superior investment? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their profitability, risk, institutional ownership, dividends, analyst recommendations, valuation and earnings.


This table compares Kenon and Kirby’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Kenon N/A 37.05% 9.56%
Kirby 12.91% 4.35% 2.49%

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Kenon and Kirby’s top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Kenon $366.00 million 2.11 $236.59 million N/A N/A
Kirby $2.21 billion 2.36 $313.18 million $2.05 42.76

Kirby has higher revenue and earnings than Kenon.

Risk and Volatility

Kenon has a beta of 1.61, meaning that its share price is 61% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Kirby has a beta of 0.96, meaning that its share price is 4% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current recommendations and price targets for Kenon and Kirby, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Kenon 0 0 0 0 N/A
Kirby 1 3 5 0 2.44

Kirby has a consensus target price of $85.25, indicating a potential downside of 2.74%. Given Kirby’s higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe Kirby is more favorable than Kenon.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

1.7% of Kenon shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 92.2% of Kirby shares are held by institutional investors. 2.4% of Kirby shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.


Kirby beats Kenon on 8 of the 11 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Kenon

Kenon Holdings Ltd., through its subsidiaries, owns, develops, and operates power generation and distribution facilities primarily in Latin America, the Caribbean, and Israel. It also designs, manufactures, distributes, and services passenger vehicles through a network of independent authorized retail dealers in the People's Republic of China. As of December 31, 2016, the company's Qoros' dealerships had 115 point of sales. In addition, it develops and owns a proprietary natural gas-to-liquid technology process. The company is based in Singapore.

About Kirby

Kirby Corporation operates domestic tank barges in the United States. It operates in two segments, Marine Transportation and Distribution and Services. The Marine Transportation segment provides marine transportation services and towing vessels transporting bulk liquid products, as well as operates tank barges throughout the Mississippi River System, on the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, coastwise along three United States coasts, and in Alaska and Hawaii. This segment also transports petrochemicals, black oil, refined petroleum products, and agricultural chemicals by tank barges; and operates offshore dry-bulk barge and tugboat units that are engaged in the offshore transportation of dry-bulk cargoes in the United States coastal trade. It serves oil refining and petrochemical companies. As of February 23, 2018, this segment owned or operated 998 inland tank barges with 22.0 million barrels of capacity, 302 inland towboats, 56 coastal tank barges with 5.4 million barrels of capacity, 53 coastal tugboats, 5 offshore dry-bulk cargo barges, 5 offshore tugboats, and 1 docking tugboat. The Distribution and Services segment sells replacement parts; provides service mechanics to overhaul and repair medium-speed and high-speed diesel engines, transmissions, reduction gears, and related oilfield services equipment; rebuilds component parts or diesel engines, transmissions, reduction gears, and related equipment used in oilfield services, marine, mining, power generation, on-highway, and other industrial applications; rents generators, fork lifts, and pumps and compressors; and manufactures and remanufactures pressure pumping units. It serves oilfield service, on-highway transportation, marine transportation, construction, and power generation companies, and the United States government. The company was formerly known as Kirby Exploration Company, Inc. and changed its name to Kirby Corporation in 1990. Kirby Corporation was founded in 1921 and is headquartered in Houston, Texas.

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