Thursday, June 13, 2024

Oilfield woes trim Kirby earnings

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A Kirby towboat waiting for its next departure in the Houston Ship Channel. Photo: Sarah Scully, HC Staff / Houston Chronicle

A Kirby towboat waiting for its next departure in the Houston Ship Channel.

Kirby Corp.'s fourth-quarter earnings were hurt by declines in oilfield activity, the company said Thursday.

The Houston company ships oil and petroleum products on barges in inland and coastal U.S. waterways, and builds and repairs diesel engines used for pumping oil and gas. Demand for diesel engine work plummeted. Barge demand slipped as well, and the company also suffered from having to lower its prices.

"During the fourth quarter, the price volatility and generally lower prices of commodities impacted demand in both our marine transportation and diesel engine businesses," CEO David Grzebinski said in a statement.

Net earnings for the fourth quarter were $50.7 million, compared to $68.1 million a year earlier, and 94 cents per share, down from $1.19.

Revenue in shipping fell to $400 million in the fourth quarter from $429 million a year earlier, while in diesel engine services, Kirby saw revenue drop to $84 million for the quarter from $239 million.

In November Kirby sold a diesel engine business, UE Compression, due to low demand.

For the year, Kirby brought in $226.7 million, or $4.11 per share, compared to $282 million, or $4.93 per share, in 2014.

Kirby's stock closed Thursday at $48.49, down 4 percent.


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