Considering the huge increase in oil production this year within the United States, it’s no surprise that Kirby Corporation (NYSE:KEX), the United States’ largest domestic tank barge operator set a new record for net earnings in 2013.
The company’s net earnings reached $253.1 million, or $4.44 per share, compared with $209.4 million, or $3.73 per share, in 2012.
Joe Pyne, Kirby’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, commented, “Our inland and coastal tank barge fleets continued to maintain high equipment utilization levels and favorable pricing trends during the fourth quarter, but our results were somewhat affected by high delay days associated with winter weather conditions. Our land-based diesel engine services business remained challenged as excess pressure pumping horsepower continued to impact that market. We do anticipate some improvement in the land-based market later in 2014.”
Pyne predicts 2014 EPS figures of between, $4.75 to $4.95 on the assumption of continued strong demand for maritime transportation, high utilization rates, and favorable pricing trends. He notes that the company is looking to invest $45 million into the construction of 37 inland tank barges and another $45 million in progress payments on the construction of an 185,000 barrel coastal articulated tank barge and tugboat unit scheduled to be placed in service in mid-to-late 2015. An additional $110 to $120 million has been budgeted for capital upgrades and improvements to existing inland and coastal marine equipment and facilities, and diesel engine services facilities.
For Kirby’s full year end report, please click HERE.