Kirby Corporation (KEX)

Acquisition of Allied Transportation Conference Call

September 05, 2012 4:00 pm ET


G. Stephen Holcomb – Vice President-Investor Relations

Joseph H. Pyne – Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Kirby Corp

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

Greg R. Binion – President and Chief Operating Officer

James F. Farley – President, Kirby Offshore Marine, LLC


Jonathan B. Chappell – Evercore Partners

Connor Hustava – Stephens Inc.

Kevin Sterling – BB&T Capital Markets

Jimmy Gibert – IBERIA Capital Partners

Ken Hoexter – Bank of America Merrill Lynch

John L. Barnes – RBC Capital Markets

David Beard – IBERIA Capital Partners

Stephen O'Hara – Sidoti and Company, LLC

William Baldwin – Baldwin Anthony Securities

Chaz G. Jones – Wunderlich Securities, Inc.

Matthew Young – Morningstar Research



Welcome to the Kirby Corporation Acquisition of Allied Transportation Conference Call. My name is Trish and I will be your operator for today’s call. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. Please note that this conference is being recorded. I would now like to turn the call over to Stephen Holcomb. Sir, you may begin.

G. Stephen Holcomb

Thank you for joining us this afternoon. With me today is Joe Pyne, Kirby’s Chief Executive Officer; David Grzebinski, our Chief Financial Officer; Greg Binion, our President and Chief Operating Officer; and Jim Farley, our President of Kirby Offshore Marine.

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 risk 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-Q for the year ended December 31, 2011, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

I will now turn the call over to Joe.

Joseph H. Pyne

Thank you, Steve. I’m going to do the prepared remarks. David, Greg and Jim will be available to help us with questions. We are pleased to announce our agreement with Allied Transportation Company. The Allied fleet is comprised of 10 coastwise tank barges, three offshore dry cargo bulk barges and tugboats. The total value of the transaction is approximately $116 million and this includes $10 million that will be paid contingent on developments with the U.S. Farm Bill.

The purchase of Allied’s costal barge and tugboat fleet adds product diversification to our Kirby Offshore Marine segment. 90% of Allied’s tank barges are under term contracts with petrochemical customers. Kirby has existing relationships with most of these customers in our Inland Marine segment. Allied’s offshore tank barge operations will position Kirby to strengthen and to grow and to continue to grow the coastwise petrochemical business.

This is an attractive acquisition for several reasons. Allied is a great platform from which to grow our petrochemical business. We have thoroughly vetted this equipment, which we are buying and are comfortable with it well-maintain. Their synergies from cross selling opportunities which will help us service our inland petrochemical customers as well.

Allied’s revenue and adjusted EBITDA for the last trailing four quarters were approximately $78 million in revenue and $16.1 million in EBITDA. 80% of Allied’s 2011 revenue was driven by the transportation of petrochemicals predominantly under multi-year contracts. The remaining 20% of the 2011 revenue was derived from employing Allied’s three dry cargo barges and the transportation of sugar and other dry products between Florida and East Coast ports.

As many of you know, we already have a position in the coastwise dry bulk business owning four tugboat units with two additional units currently under construction. We expect to close the acquisition in late third quarter or early fourth quarter of this year with a positive earnings impact or with the positive earnings impact on our [2000] results most offset by one-time transaction related expenses.

For 2013, we expect the purchase to be accretive $0.06 to $0.08 to our earnings per share. In addition, we believe that over time, we can achieve additional synergies that will allow Allied to be even more accretive to our bottom line.

I’d like to use this opportunity also to talk about another small acquisition, which is that Kirby has acquired 17 inland tank barges from Lyondell Chemical Company earlier this month. 17 barges consist of eight owned and nine charted or leased barges. Because we were already managing the fleet of barges and telling them the transaction is not expected to have a material impact on our earnings.

I also want to comment on the effect of the recent hurricane and the low water conditions on the Mississippi River System. As you are aware, we have been operating with low water conditions on the Mississippi starting with some issues on the Ohio River since mid-May and extending to the upper Mississippi River as well as the main stem lower Mississippi river during this quarter.

As a result of low water levels, during the third quarter, we have been loading our tank barges for upriver destinations to nine foot droughts versus what we typically load in the summer, which is somewhere between 9.5 feet and 10 feet. Water levels along the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway have remained at normal levels and have not been impacted by the low water levels on the Mississippi River System.

In spite of challenging conditions, we continue to safely move products throughout the Mississippi River System in addition to light loading of our tank barges, transit times have been extended to a number of industry groundings occasionally closer to the sections of the river for short periods of time and for dredging operations throughout the system.

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