Happy Days Continue for Kirby as Grzebinski Takes Over

winna wilson atb kirby signal international
The Kirby Winna Wilson and Jason E. Duttinger depart from the Orange, Texas yard where they were built. image: Signal

Kirby Corporation’s record profit streak has continued through the first quarter according to their latest earnings report.

The inland tug and barge operator recorded net earnings of $62.2 million, or $1.09 per share, compared with $56.6 million, or $1.00 per share in the first quarter of 2013.

In addition, the company notes that Joe Pyne has taken over as Chairman of the Board and David Grzebinski has assumed the role as company President and CEO.

Mr. Pyne commented on the move:

“It has been my distinct pleasure to serve Kirby as its CEO since 1995. In keeping with the succession plan we announced in April of last year, at our board meeting yesterday David Grzebinski was named President and Chief Executive Officer. David is an excellent choice to lead this company to its next level during a very exciting time for the industry. I look forward to working with David and his team as Kirby’s Executive Chairman.”

Commenting on the first quarter results Grzebinski notes:

“Our marine markets continued to benefit from healthy levels of demand and high utilization which drove ongoing pricing improvement. The first quarter also reflected some improvement in our land-based diesel engine services market. We expect this market to continue to improve throughout the year.”

The atrocious weather that pounded the United States this winter resulted in a 41 percent YoY increase in delay days to Kirby’s operations, yet marine transportation revenues for the 2014 first quarter were $435.8 million compared with $418.5 million for the 2013 first quarter.

Looking ahead, the company is raising its earnings guidance for the second quarter to $1.25 to $1.35 per share compared with $1.11 per share earned in the 2013 second quarter.  Full year 2014 guidance has been increased to $4.80 to $5.00 compared with $4.44 per share for the 2013 year.

“As a result of consistently strong coastal tank barge demand, utilization and increasing pricing, yesterday we exercised our option for the construction of a second 185,000 barrel coastal articulated tank barge and 10000 horsepower tugboat unit for approximately $75 million, with expected delivery in the first half of 2016,” added Grzebinski.  “Also, yesterday our Board of Directors approved the construction of two additional ATB’s and we will update our capital spending guidance once we have construction contracts signed.”

It wasn’t all happy days though this quarter as a Kirby-owned barge was involved in a collision in the Houston Ship Channel resulting in the spilling of thousands of gallons of marine fuel oil into the harbor.