Kirby expects higher third quarter earnings

kirbyflagHouston-based tank barge giant Kirby Corporation (NYSE:KEX) now expects its 2011 third quarter net earnings to exceed $.90 per share, above the top end of Kirby's earnings guidance of $.82 to $.87 per share, and substantially above 2010 third quarter earnings of $.57 per share.

Joe Pyne, Kirby's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, commented, "Increased petrochemical production encouraged by low natural gas prices has led to strong utilization levels in Kirby's petrochemical fleet. Stable refinery production levels with the exportation of heavy fuel oils continue to support Kirby's black oil products fleet. New demand for the transportation of crude oil from shale formations in South Texas is in place, and crude oil from the Midwest to the Gulf Coast continues. The high utilization rates in our inland fleet have led to higher term and spot contract pricing. Earnings from our newly acquired K-Sea Transportation remains in line with previous projections with accretive earnings being offset by acquisition transaction fees and expenses, increased interest expense and higher common shares outstanding associated with the acquisition."

"Our diesel engine services land-based market remains strong with the sale and service of hydraulic fracturing equipment used in recovering oil and gas reserves from United States shale formations, and from the sale of diesel engines and transmissions," noted Mr. Pyne. "In addition, our medium-speed and high-speed marine markets, including the Gulf Coast oil services market, are slowly showing some signs of improvement."

Kirby will address the 2011 fourth quarter and year guidance when it announces its third quarter results at 5:00 p.m. central time on Wednesday, October 26, followed by its conference call at 10:00 a.m. central time on Thursday, October 27, 2011.

September 20, 2011

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