Kirby expects Q3 earnings to exceed US$0.90/share, above top-end guidance of US$0.82-US$0.87/share, year-ago earnings of US$0.57/share, on strong petrochemical, black oil fleet utilization, new demand for crude oil transportation

HOUSTON , September 20, 2011 (press release) –
-2011 third quarter earnings expected to exceed $.90 per share, above previous guidance of $.82 to $.87 per share, and compares with $.57 per share for the 2010 third quarter
-Continued strong inland marine transportation and land-based diesel engine services markets
-Kirby to announce 2011 third quarter results on Wednesday, October 26, 2011, with conference call on Thursday, October 27, 2011

Kirby Corporation ("Kirby") (NYSE:KEX - News) announced today that it expects its 2011 third quarter net earnings to exceed $.90 per share, above the top end of Kirby's earnings guidance of $.82 to $.87 per share, and substantially above 2010 third quarter earnings of $.57 per share. Kirby will address the 2011 fourth quarter and year guidance when it announces its third quarter results at 5:00 p.m. central time on Wednesday, October 26, followed by its conference call at 10:00 a.m. central time on Thursday, October 27, 2011.

Joe Pyne, Kirby's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, commented, "Increased petrochemical production encouraged by low natural gas prices has led to strong utilization levels in Kirby's petrochemical fleet. Stable refinery production levels with the exportation of heavy fuel oils continue to support Kirby's black oil products fleet. New demand for the transportation of crude oil from shale formations in South Texas is in place, and crude oil from the Midwest to the Gulf Coast continues. The high utilization rates in our inland fleet have led to higher term and spot contract pricing. Earnings from our newly acquired K-Sea Transportation remains in line with previous projections with accretive earnings being offset by acquisition transaction fees and expenses, increased interest expense and higher common shares outstanding associated with the acquisition."

Mr. Pyne further commented, "Our diesel engine services land-based market remains strong with the sale and service of hydraulic fracturing equipment used in recovering oil and gas reserves from United States shale formations, and from the sale of diesel engines and transmissions. In addition, our medium-speed and high-speed marine markets, including the Gulf Coast oil services market, are slowly showing some signs of improvement."

Kirby Corporation, based in Houston, Texas, is the nation's largest domestic tank barge operator, transporting bulk liquid products throughout the Mississippi River System, the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway and coastwise along all three United States coasts, Alaska and Hawaii. Kirby transports petrochemicals, black oil products, refined petroleum products and agricultural chemicals by tank barge. Through the diesel engine services segment, Kirby provides after-market service for medium-speed and high-speed diesel engines and reduction gears used in marine and power generation applications. Kirby also distributes and services high-speed diesel engines and transmissions, pumps and compression products, and manufacturers oil field service equipment, including hydraulic fracturing equipment, for land-based pressure pumping and oilfield service markets.

Statements contained in this press release 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. Actual results could differ materially from those anticipated as a result of various factors, including cyclical or other downturns in demand, significant pricing competition, unanticipated additions to industry capacity, changes in the Jones Act or in U.S. maritime policy and practice, fuel costs, interest rates, weather conditions, and timing, magnitude and number of acquisitions made by Kirby. Forward-looking statements are based on currently available information and Kirby assumes no obligation to update any such statements. A list of additional risk factors can be found in Kirby's annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2010 and quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the period ended June 30, 2011 filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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