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Kirby Corporation (



Credit Suisse Energy Summit Conference Call

February 9, 2012 1:10 pm ET


Joe Pyne - Chairman and CEO

Steve Holcomb - VP, IR


Greg Lewis - Credit Suisse


Greg Lewis

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Good afternoon, everybody, and thank you for being here. I'd like to introduce Kirby Corporation. They're actually new to the Vail Energy Conference. They're doing some interesting things on the inland river barge business as well as diesel engine service business, which touches various aspects of the oil service industry. We have Joe Pyne and Steve Holcomb. And with that, I'll turn it over to Joe.

Joe Pyne

Thank you, Greg. Just delighted to be able to talk about Kirby at an energy conference. So that's new and exciting for us. So thank you for the opportunity to do this. Kirby is in two businesses. We're in the marine transportation business, moving a lot of energy around, and we're also in the diesel engine service business. I'm going to come back and talk about both these businesses further in the presentation.

Just some facts about Kirby, we have a market cap of a little less than $3.8 billion, enterprise value around $4.5 billion. More facts on Kirby, Kirby is the largest inland tank barge operator in the U.S., also the largest coastal barge operator for barge sizes of 185,000 barrels or less. This is a business that where size maters or some economies of scale that a company like Kirby enjoys that smaller competitors do not enjoy.

About 75% of the inland business is under contract, a year or longer in duration, 55% of that is time charter. On the coastal side of the business, about 60% of the business is under contract and 90% of that is time charter. Our diesel engine service area, an area that we've expanded significantly last year, has a national footprint. It is in the service, distribution and parts business for medium and high-speed engines. It also manufactures or assembles equipment for oil service work, principally for land based applications. On the manufacturing side it's making these high-pressure hydraulic fracking pumps, cementers, nitrogen systems, that kind of equipment.

Kirby has been a consolidator in the industries that it's in, an aggregation in total of about 45 separate acquisitions. This lists the marine acquisitions. Most of these you won't recognize other than the shipper fleets that we bought, Exxon, Dow, Union Carbide, those types of fleets. And then the activity in the diesel engine business, the last was by far the biggest, United Holdings located in Oklahoma City.

We've enjoyed strong revenue growth. This revenue growth goes back into the late 80s, since 1988 over 16% compounded on an annual basis and then with respect to earnings per share, 15% of earnings growth. Now, moving to the marine transportation business. This is the kind of the areas that we operate. We operate on the inland waterway system of the United States; 12,000 miles of navigable waterways. There isn't a system like the inland waterway system anywhere in the world.

About 80% of the chemicals in the United States are manufactured in two states, Texas and Louisiana. And on a total transportation basis about 60% of what we do is in the chemical area. So about two-thirds of our inland fleet is heavily concentrated in the Texas, Louisiana area, and the rest of it is up on the Mississippi river and its tributaries. And then with respect to our costal fleet, KC transportation has the largest geographical footprint. It operates on the three coasts and it also has operations in Hawaii and Alaska.

Just some facts about the barge business. This business has a large footprint. Kirby in this business is principally a liquid operator. We have a small dry cargo sector of this business, but it really is de minimis when you look at our total revenues. It is protected by the Jones Act, very little obsolescence in the business. This is not the kind of business that you wake up and somebody has invented something that changes the equipment that's used in the.

Basic barge design, basic tug design is the same as it was 30, 40 years ago. Of course barges are mobile. On the coastal part of our business, we can move a barge from the East Coast to the Gulf Coast very easily. We can shift a barge from a canal movement under the river really without much effort also. And the waterway system is an environmentally friendly way also to move things around. Our carbon footprint is the lowest of all modes of transportation.

Looking at the demand drivers, as I said about 60% of what we do is in the petrochemical area that's followed by black oil, refined products and agricultural chemicals. This looks at really the drivers for both the costal and inland sector with respect to chemicals, really driven by consumer durable non-durable goods.

The thing about chemicals is about 70% of domestic chemical production goes into consumer durables, which makes it a little more indifferent to the cycles that other things that people move around are more exposed to. Because of who we work for and what we use or what we carry, safety is a major concern. It's something that we think we're really good at. We think we also lead the industry in that area.

Just drilling down to the inland tank barge business, on the supply side there is about 3,100 tank barges operating in the industry. This is a fleet that does have some age to it. About a third of it is in excess of 30 years old. There is some significant replacement ahead of it. Just one of the reasons that we're not all that concerned about the number of barges that are being built and/or had been built in 2011 or 2012. We think with retirements and capacity expansion, principally for chemical cargos and crude oil coming out of South Texas that the capacity that's going to be added in 2012 will be absorbed easily.

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