Kirby Corporation (NYSE:KEX) Q1 2018 Earnings Conference Call - Preliminary Transcript

Apr 26, 2018 • 08:30 am ET

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Kirby Corporation (NYSE:KEX) Q1 2018 Earnings Conference Call - Preliminary Transcript

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Presentation
Operator
Operator

Good morning and welcome to the Kirby Corporation 2018 First Quarter Earnings Conference Call. All participants will be in listen-only mode. (Operator Instructions) After today's presentation, there will be an opportunity to ask questions. (Operator Instructions) Please note this event is being recorded.

I would now like to turn the conference over to Mr. Eric Holcomb, Kirby's Vice President of Investor Relations. Please go ahead.

Executive
Eric Holcomb

Good morning and thank you for joining us. With me today are Joe Pyne, Kirby's Chairman; David Grzebinski, Kirby's President and Chief Executive Officer; and Bill Harvey, Kirby's 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 included in our first quarter earnings press release and is available on our website at www.kirbycorp.com in the Investor Relations section under Financial Highlights. 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, and 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 Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2017.

I will now turn the call over to David.

Executive
David W. Grzebinski

Thank you, Eric and good morning, everyone. I'll start my comments with a summary of the first quarter results in each of our markets and then turn the call over to Bill to walk through the financials in more detail. Following Bill's comments, I'll provide an update on our second quarter and full year guidance and then turn the call over to Joe Pyne for a few comments before questions and answers.

Yesterday afternoon, we announced 2018 first quarter GAAP earnings of $0.54 per share. These earnings included one-time transaction fees and expenses related to Higman, other expenses related to non-cash costs associated with an amendment to our employee stock plan and some other costs associated with severance. Bill will comment on these items in more detail in a few moments.

Without these items, our first quarter earnings would have been $0.67 per share, first quarter results compared to our guidance range of $0.45 to $0.65 per share and $0.51 per share reported a year ago in the 2017 first quarter. In the inland marine transportation business, we saw a positive change in market dynamics during the quarter. Spot market pricing increased approximately 10% to 15% compared to the end of 2017, and term contract pricing started to move slightly higher at the end of the quarter on a contractor too.

Poor seasonal weather conditions reduced spot market barge availability, favorable prices for our customers, products and a few plant outages, all contributed to increased tank barge utilization in the mid-90% range for Kirby and we believe for the industry throughout much of the quarter. Operationally, our fleet was significantly challenged