Kirby Target of Unusually High Options Trading (KEX)

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Kirby Co. (NYSE:KEX) was the recipient of unusually large options trading activity on Tuesday. Stock investors acquired 4,281 put options on the stock. This represents an increase of approximately 2,543% compared to the average volume of 162 put options.

In other news, Director Richard J. Alario sold 17,153 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, April 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $85.99, for a total value of $1,474,986.47. Following the transaction, the director now owns 22,627 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,945,695.73. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, VP Ronald A. Dragg sold 930 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, May 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $85.69, for a total transaction of $79,691.70. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now owns 11,468 shares in the company, valued at approximately $982,692.92. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 307,588 shares of company stock worth $27,252,939 in the last quarter. Company insiders own 2.40% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Thrivent Financial For Lutherans raised its position in shares of Kirby by 40.4% during the fourth quarter. Thrivent Financial For Lutherans now owns 947,379 shares of the shipping company’s stock valued at $63,285,000 after buying an additional 272,436 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. raised its position in shares of Kirby by 1.3% during the fourth quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 4,763,004 shares of the shipping company’s stock valued at $318,169,000 after buying an additional 61,526 shares during the last quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company raised its position in shares of Kirby by 12.8% during the fourth quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company now owns 89,010 shares of the shipping company’s stock valued at $5,946,000 after buying an additional 10,069 shares during the last quarter. Koch Industries Inc. bought a new stake in shares of Kirby during the first quarter valued at approximately $497,000. Finally, Swiss National Bank raised its position in shares of Kirby by 18.1% during the first quarter. Swiss National Bank now owns 26,057 shares of the shipping company’s stock valued at $2,005,000 after buying an additional 4,000 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 92.17% of the company’s stock.

Kirby opened at $83.75 on Wednesday, according to MarketBeat Ratings. Kirby has a 12 month low of $59.25 and a 12 month high of $94.05. The company has a market cap of $5.00 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 40.85, a PEG ratio of 2.05 and a beta of 0.96. The company has a current ratio of 1.99, a quick ratio of 1.29 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.45.

Kirby (NYSE:KEX) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, April 25th. The shipping company reported $0.67 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.59 by $0.08. Kirby had a net margin of 12.91% and a return on equity of 4.35%. The company had revenue of $741.70 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $690.64 million. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $0.51 EPS. The firm’s revenue was up 50.8% compared to the same quarter last year. analysts expect that Kirby will post 2.98 earnings per share for the current year.

KEX has been the topic of several recent research reports. Stifel Nicolaus increased their price objective on shares of Kirby from $88.00 to $94.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, April 27th. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Kirby from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, April 3rd. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Kirby from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $96.00 price objective on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, May 2nd. Wells Fargo & Co raised their target price on shares of Kirby from $89.00 to $100.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research note on Tuesday, May 1st. Finally, OTR Global upgraded shares of Kirby to a “positive” rating in a research note on Thursday, March 29th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating and six have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Kirby presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $86.44.

Kirby Company Profile

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.

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