Kirby Corporation -- which operates 774 inland tank barges, with 14 million barrels of capacity, and 229 towing vessels -- reported net earnings for the 2000 first quarter of $6.1 million. Net earnings for the 1999 first quarter were $4 million.
The 2000 first quarter results include the acquisition in October 1999 of Hollywood Marine, Inc., accounted for under the purchase method of accounting. Movements in each of Kirby's inland tank barge markets were generally at, or above, expected levels.
Refined products movements to the Midwest were unseasonably strong, the result of gasoline inventory anomalies in the Midwest. Fertilizer movements were also stronger than usual during the first quarter.
The marine transportation operating
margin was 14 percent for the 2000 first quarter compared with 12 percent for the 1999 first quarter.
Kirby's diesel engine services segment experienced an improvement in business activity from the Gulf Coast drilling and offshore supply vessel markets and a stronger Midwest river market and nuclear market when compared with the 1999 fourth quarter. The operating margin for the diesel engine services segment was 10.7 percent for the 2000 first quarter compared with 10.2 percent for the 1999 first quarter.