Kirby Corp. Announces Record Results

Friday, February 02, 2001
Kirby Corporation reported that for the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2000, net earnings were a record $9,088,000, compared with $3,974,000 for the 1999 fourth quarter.

For the 2000 year, net earnings were $34,113,000, up from $21,441,000 in 1999. Joe Pyne, Kirby's President and Chief Executive Officer, said, "The 2000 fourth quarter net earnings of $.38 per share and 2000 year net earnings of $1.39 per share are record results for Kirby. Our EBITDA results of $33,615,000, or $1.39 per share, for the 2000 fourth quarter and $130,132,000, or $5.30 per share, for the 2000 year are also a record. Revenues for the 2000 fourth quarter and year were at record levels as well. This performance reflects the continuing benefits of the successful integration of Kirby and Hollywood Marine. We have taken the best of both companies and have emerged as a stronger company, positioned to capture future efficiencies and poised for future growth, both internally and externally."

Revenues for the marine transportation segment for the year 2000 were $443,203,000 and for the fourth quarter were $110,413,000. Results of Hollywood Marine are included in Kirby's 1999 marine transportation results from October 12, 1999, the date of acquisition. On a pro forma combined basis, assuming that the Hollywood merger was completed at the beginning of 1999, revenues for the marine transportation segment were $422.4 million for 1999 and $112.3 million for the fourth quarter of 1999. Revenues for 2000 were 4.9 percent above pro forma 1999 revenues, but fourth quarter 2000 revenues declined 1.7 percent from a year ago. Increased revenues from contract price increases and the recovery of higher fuel costs were more than offset by weather delays, more maintenance days and slowing demand in this year's fourth quarter. The transportation segment's operating margin increased to 18.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2000 from 16.9 percent in the 1999 fourth quarter.

Although the Gulf Coast engine overhaul market began to recover in 2000, the diesel engine services segment experienced weakness in the East Coast and West Coast engine rebuild markets and the industrial rail market, which resulted in a 7.0 percent decline in year 2000 revenues. However, the diesel segment reported an operating margin of 8.8 percent for the 2000 fourth quarter compared with 8.0 percent for the 1999 fourth quarter. For the 2000 year, the operating margin was 10.0 percent compared with 9.6 percent last year.

With a slowing U.S. economy, many of Kirby's inland transportation customers are projecting reduced demand for their products, which could result in a more modest growth rate for Kirby over the next year. Assuming that volumes for 2001 are similar to those in the second half of 2000, earnings per share are likely to be in the $1.45 to $1.55 range. EBITDA, correspondingly, would total $133 to $137 million, or $5.56 to $5.73 per share. Capital spending should be in the range of $55 to $60 million and will include six new tank barges to replace single skin barges scheduled to be retired. In addition, five asphalt capable barges will be built to satisfy new opportunities arising from the Hollywood merger. Kirby Corporation, based in Houston, Texas, operates 777 inland tank barges, with 14.1 million barrels of capacity, and 219 towing vessels, transporting chemicals, petrochemicals, refined petroleum products, black oil and agricultural chemicals throughout the United States' inland waterway system. Through its diesel engine services segment, Kirby provides after-market service for large medium-speed diesel engines used in marine, power generation, industrial, nuclear and rail applications.

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