Kirby's CEO Presents At JPMorgan Aviation, Transportation & Defense Conference (Transcript)

Kirby Corporation (KEX)

JPMorgan Aviation, Transportation & Defense Conference Call

March 15, 2012 11:10 am ET


Joseph H. Pyne – Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

David W. Grzebinski – Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer


Unidentified Analyst

Okay, we’re going to kick off the next presentation this morning. With us today, we’ve got Joe Pyne, who is the CEO, and also Chairman of Board of Kirby Corporation.

And with that, we’re going to hand it straight over to Joe.

Joseph H. Pyne

Okay, good morning. Kirby is in two operating businesses. We’re in the marine transportation business, and the diesel engine service business. About 65% of our business, marine transportation and 35% diesel engine services. I’m going to come back and drill down to both these businesses a little later in this presentation. Just some market facts about Kirby.

We have a market cap of a little over $3.8 billion, enterprise value a little better than $4.5 billion. We’re the largest, both inland and coastal tank barge operator. On the coastal size, we’re measuring that market at barges 185,000 barrels of capacity or less.

Size does matter in this business. We think that we enjoy some economies of scale that smaller operators don’t enjoy. But 75% of the inland transportation revenues are on contracts a year or longer. In the coastal side of the business, about 60% of that revenue is under contract. A time charter is where a customer takes a tow on a daily basis in the inland side of the business. But 55% of the business is time charters, and the coastal business traditionally has a much higher portion of their business under time charters.

In the diesel engine service side, a national footprint. We work on really all the engines that are used in the marine environment. With respect to the oil service side, we also manufacture oil service equipment. That’s in our Company, United Holdings, and again, I’ll come back and comment on United a little later.

Kirby is the aggregation of a number of acquisitions, 45 different acquisitions. I think we’re pretty good at that. This looks at the acquisitions that we’ve made in the marine transportation area. Many of these you’re not going to recognize because they’re independents. The shippers are in red, and the ones that stand out will be Dow Chemical, SeaRiver is Exxon Mobil, that kind of fleet.

And then on the diesel engine side, 16 acquisitions. The last was by far the largest, and that was United Holdings. And again I’ll come back to that. We’ve enjoyed strong revenue growth since 1988, over 16.5% a year. Earnings per share about 15% a year that does not include our 2012 projection, either.

On the marine transportation side, this is our operating area, the inland waterway system is in yellow and in red. And then the coastal areas are shaded in blue, but let me just focus on the inland business for a minute. 12,000 miles of navigable waterways in the inland system, really does open the center of the country to other markets, domestically and to global markets as well.

On the coastal side, this is a new area for us; we inherited this when we bought K-Sea Transportation mid last year. That service area is the three coasts, as well as Hawaii and Alaska.

Just some facts on the industry, again to calibrate everybody. Both in inland and coastal operator on the inland side, there is 3,100 tank barges in the business. A much larger dry cargo sector, we’re not in that sector for a host of reasons. We like the ability to add value in the liquid area. We have about 26%, 27% of this market.

On the coastal side, as we have defined the market, which is 185,000 barrels or less, about 275 barges in total in that market that we have a little better than 20% of that market. No foreign competition, the Jones Act protects this business, no real economic obsolescence. It’s not something that you lose sleep over, because somebody is going to come up with a new way of doing something. You can move this equipment as the market changes. Very important part of the U.S. domestic economy, and also an environmentally friendly way of moving cargo around.

Looking at the drivers, this looks at total marine transportation revenue. If you just were to look at inland revenue, about 70% of inland revenue is in the petrochemical area. The drivers in the petrochemical area of course consumer non-durables and durables. But because 70% is in the non-durable area, it really gets pulled around last by the economy, believe it or not, because so much of this goes into the things that we use everyday.

Durables are more tied to the economy, housing, automobiles, that kind of thing. We move black oil, and you can see the drivers there. Refined products is principally transportation, fuel, that’s the driver, and then agricultural chemicals moved by the farm economy.

Safety matters in this business because we’re a liquid operator and because who we work for. So we see this as an important part of our service, and we’re recognized as the leader in our business in this area.

Drill down to the inland tank barge business. This looks at the industry population of barges. I think it’s worthy to note that, our last peak pricing, peak utilization was kind of end of 2007, beginning of 2008, that was when we were producing about 1.5 million homes, had a car manufacturing run rate of over 16 million units, and unemployment substantially lower than it is today.

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