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Here is What Hedge Funds Think About Kirby Corporation (NYSE:KEX) – Teekay Corporation (NYSE:TK), Teekay LNG Partners L.P. (NYSE:TGP)

Kirby Corporation (NYSE:KEX) was in 11 hedge funds’ portfolio at the end of the fourth quarter of 2012. KEX shareholders have witnessed a decrease in enthusiasm from smart money recently. There were 13 hedge funds in our database with KEX holdings at the end of the previous quarter.

Kirby Corporation (NYSE:KEX)

In the 21st century investor’s toolkit, there are dozens of metrics shareholders can use to monitor publicly traded companies. A couple of the most underrated are hedge fund and insider trading movement. At Insider Monkey, our research analyses have shown that, historically, those who follow the best picks of the best money managers can beat the broader indices by a significant margin (see just how much).

Equally as integral, bullish insider trading sentiment is a second way to parse down the financial markets. There are plenty of stimuli for an insider to sell shares of his or her company, but only one, very clear reason why they would initiate a purchase. Plenty of academic studies have demonstrated the market-beating potential of this tactic if “monkeys” know what to do (learn more here).

With these “truths” under our belt, it’s important to take a glance at the key action regarding Kirby Corporation (NYSE:KEX).

Hedge fund activity in Kirby Corporation (NYSE:KEX)

At the end of the fourth quarter, a total of 11 of the hedge funds we track were bullish in this stock, a change of -15% from the previous quarter. With hedge funds’ positions undergoing their usual ebb and flow, there exists an “upper tier” of notable hedge fund managers who were boosting their holdings substantially.

When looking at the hedgies we track, Select Equity Group, managed by Robert Joseph Caruso, holds the largest position in Kirby Corporation (NYSE:KEX). Select Equity Group has a $258 million position in the stock, comprising 4% of its 13F portfolio. Sitting at the No. 2 spot is Royce & Associates, managed by Chuck Royce, which held a $90 million position; the fund has 0.3% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Some other hedgies that hold long positions include Steven Richman’s East Side Capital (RR Partners), Robert Bishop’s Impala Asset Management and Steven Cohen’s SAC Capital Advisors.

Due to the fact that Kirby Corporation (NYSE:KEX) has experienced declining sentiment from the smart money, it’s safe to say that there were a few fund managers that slashed their entire stakes in Q4. Interestingly, Alexander Mitchell’s Scopus Asset Management cut the largest investment of the “upper crust” of funds we key on, comprising about $19 million in stock., and “Richard S. Meisenberg of ACK Asset Management was right behind this move, as the fund said goodbye to about $10 million worth. These transactions are intriguing to say the least, as total hedge fund interest fell by 2 funds in Q4.

What do corporate executives and insiders think about Kirby Corporation (NYSE:KEX)?

Bullish insider trading is best served when the company in question has experienced transactions within the past 180 days. Over the last six-month time frame, Kirby Corporation (NYSE:KEX) has experienced zero unique insiders buying, and 16 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let’s also examine hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to Kirby Corporation (NYSE:KEX). These stocks are Teekay Offshore Partners L.P. (NYSE:TOO), Teekay Corporation (NYSE:TK), Tidewater Inc. (NYSE:TDW), Teekay LNG Partners L.P. (NYSE:TGP), and Golar LNG Limited (USA) (NASDAQ:GLNG). All of these stocks are in the shipping industry and their market caps are closest to KEX’s market cap.

Company Name # of Hedge Funds # of Insiders Buying # of Insiders Selling
Teekay Offshore Partners L.P. (NYSE:TOO) 4 0 0
Teekay Corporation (NYSE:TK) 14 0 0
Tidewater Inc. (NYSE:TDW) 12 0 4
Teekay LNG Partners L.P. (NYSE:TGP) 5 0 0
Golar LNG Limited (USA) (NASDAQ:GLNG) 21 0 0

With the results exhibited by Insider Monkey’s research, retail investors must always keep an eye on hedge fund and insider trading activity, and Kirby Corporation (NYSE:KEX) is an important part of this process.