Kirby Corporation's CEO Discusses Q2 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Kirby Corporation (KEX)

Q2 2012 Earnings Call

July 26, 2012 11:00 AM ET

Executives

Stephen Holcomb – VP, IR

Joe Pyne – Chairman and CEO

Greg Binion – President and COO

David Grzebinski – EVP and CFO

Analysts

Jon Chappell – Evercore Partners

Jack Atkins – Stephens

Alex Brand – SunTrust

Anthony Segoya – Credit Suisse

John Barnes – RBC Capital

Ken Hoexter – Merrill Lynch

Kevin Sterling – BB&T Capital Markets

Jimmy Gilbert – Iberia Capital

Chaz Jones – Wunderlich

David Beard – Iberia

Steve O’Hara – Sidoti

Presentation

Operator

Welcome to the Kirby Corporation 2012 Second Quarter Conference Call. My name is Trish and I will be your operator for today’s call. (Operator Instructions) Later we will conduct a question-and-answer session. Please note that this conference is being recorded. I would now like to turn the call over to your host, Stephen Holcomb. Stephen? You may begin.

Stephen Holcomb

Good morning. Thank you for joining us. With me today are Joe Pyne, Kirby’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer; Greg Binion, Kirby’s President and Chief Operating Officer; and David Grzebinski, our Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. During this conference call we may refer to certain non-GAAP or adjusted financial measures. A reconciliation of the non-GAAP financial measures to the most directly comparable GAAP financial measures is available on our website at KirbyCorp.com in the Investor Relations section under non-GAAP financial data.

Statements contained in this conference call with respect to the future are forward-looking statements. These statements reflect management’s reasonable judgment with respect to future events. Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties. Our actual results could differ materially from those anticipated as a result of various factors. A list of these risk factors can be found in Kirby’s annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2011, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. I will now turn the call over to Joe.

Joe Pyne

Thank you, Stephen and good morning. Our second quarter earnings of $0.85 per share came in at the high end of our revised $0.80 to $0.85 per share guidance range. With respect to our Inland Tank Barge business it continued to perform well and operating results were above the 2011 second quarter results despite some temporarily lower petrochemical volumes from one major customer principally due to plant maintenance outages as well as low water levels on the Mississippi river which led to light loading tank barges since mid-May and throughout June.

Our legacy Diesel Engine Service Marine business operating results were also above the 2011 second quarter results principally due to improvements in the Gulf of Mexico oil service market. Demand for our coastal tank barge equipment was about as expected except for the New York Harbor market which was a little softer. Higher maintenance and repair related issues and lower revenues caused by delays, plants and shipyards addressing this maintenance negatively impacted the second quarter.

For our land-based diesel engine service market with the current low price of natural gas the incentive to drill for natural gas has been sharply curtailed. But the incentive to find crude oil remains positive. As a result orders for manufacturing frac spreads have been curtailed but demand for remanufacturing existing equipment has improved. I’ll come back at the end of our prepared remarks and talk about the third quarter and the full year outlook. I’m now going to turn the call over to Greg Binion who will discuss our Inland Tank Barge and Diesel Engine Service markets. And then to David who will discuss the Coastal Tank Barge market and give you our financial update.

Greg Binion

Thank you, Joe, and good morning to all. For the second quarter our Inland Marine Transportation sector continued its overall strong performance with high equipment utilization in the 90% and 95% range and higher term in spot contract pricing. In mid-May we started to experience low water conditions on the Mississippi river system and reduced operating drafts. Those conditions persist today.

During the second quarter we also were affected by some scheduled and unscheduled maintenance at a major Petrochemicals customer facilities. These facilities are now back in service. Black oil demand remains strong driven by continued stable refinery output and the continued exportation of heavy fuel oil. Also the movement of crude oil along both the river and the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway continues to be brisk. I’d also note that we did load our first Balken crude cargo out of St. Louis over the weekend. Refined product demand remains positive benefiting from additional volumes from major customers. In our Agricultural Chemicals demand driven by low inventory levels and high corn prices remains strong in April and May but it declined sharply in June as expected.

Revenues from our long-term contracts, that is one year or longer in duration, remained at 75% and the mix of time charter and the freightment business continue to be about 55% and 45% respectively.

Turning to the Inland Marine Transportation pricing, term contracts during the second quarter continue to be renewed in the mid-single digit level with some cases slightly higher pricing when compared to the 2011 second quarter. Spot contract pricing, which includes the price of fuel saw rates increase modestly when compared to the 2012 first quarter. We continue to invest in our Inland fleet both in terms of new construction and upgrading existing barges. This reduces maintenance cost and out of service days and improves the reliability of the fleet and our customer service.

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