Kirby Earnings Preview

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Kirby (NYS: KEX) will try to beat its earnings estimates for the fourth consecutive quarter. The company will unveil its latest earnings on Wednesday. Kirby is a domestic inland tank barge operator with a fleet of 863 active tank barges and 220 towing vessels.

What analysts say:

  • Buy, sell, or hold?: The majority of analysts back Kirby as a buy. But with 90.9% of analysts rating it a buy, Kirby is still below the mean analyst rating of its nearest five competitors, which average 100% buys. Analysts like Kirby better than competitor Horizon Lines overall. Zero analysts rate Horizon Lines compared to 10 of 11 rating Kirby a buy. Analysts still rate the stock a moderate buy, but they are a bit more wary about it compared to three months ago.
  • Revenue forecasts: On average, analysts predict $524.8 million in revenue this quarter. That would represent a rise of 86.5% from the year-ago quarter.
  • Wall Street earnings expectations: The average analyst estimate is earnings of $0.92 per share. Estimates range from $0.90 to $0.95.

What our community says:
CAPS All-Stars are solidly behind the stock with 96% awarding it an outperform rating. The community at large agrees with the All-Stars with 95.6% granting it a rating of outperform. Fools have embraced Kirby, though the message boards have been quiet lately with only 55 posts in the past 30 days. Despite the majority sentiment in favor of Kirby, the stock has a middling CAPS rating of three out of five stars.

Management:
Kirby's profit has risen year over year by an average of 17.5% over the past five quarters. Revenue has now gone up for three straight quarters. The company's gross margin shrank by 5.7 percentage points in the last quarter. Revenue rose 59.8% while cost of sales rose 74.6% to $294.9 million from a year earlier.

Now let's look at how efficient management is at running the business. Traditionally, margins represent the efficiency with which companies capture portions of sales dollars. The following table shows gross, operating, and net margins over the past four quarters.

Quarter

Q2

Q1

Q4

Q3

Gross Margin

32.6%

38.0%

38.1%

38.8%

Operating Margin

16.3%

18.6%

18.8%

18.7%

Net Margin

9.5%

10.8%

11%

10.9%

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At the time this article was published

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