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Unless you live near a major river or coastal waterway, you may not give much thought to barges as a means of bulk transport, but it's a significant carriage option for agricultural and petrochemical products. With roughly 30% of the inland tank barge market and more than 20% of the coastal market, Kirby (KEX) not only has uncommonly high share, but is in a good position to benefit from the ongoing growth in U.S. oil and gas production, as well as the billions of dollars of new petrochemical capacity coming online. While these shares are seldom cheap, waiting for a significant pullback can be a frustrating exercise.

A Sheltered Industry With Growing Demand

Kirby sits in a...

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