Martin Marietta Materials (MLM) Upgraded to “Hold” by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Martin Marietta Materials (NYSE:MLM) from a strong sell rating to a hold rating in a research note issued to investors on Friday morning.

According to Zacks, “Martin Marietta is a leading supplier of construction aggregates used for construction of highways, infrastructure projects and residential, commercial and industrial building development. The company’s string of acquisitions, divestitures and attractive shareholder returns are encouraging. Increased activities in the non-residential and residential markets are expected to boost demand. However, abnormally wet weather conditions in many markets are marring Martin Marietta’s prospects. Also, shares of Martin Marietta underperformed its industry in the past year. Estimates for 2017 and 2018 have also moved down over the past 30 days reflecting analyst’s concern over the stock’s prospects.”

Other equities research analysts have also recently issued research reports about the stock. Jefferies Group reissued a buy rating and set a $240.00 target price on shares of Martin Marietta Materials in a report on Wednesday, October 11th. Citigroup reissued a buy rating and set a $260.00 target price (down previously from $270.00) on shares of Martin Marietta Materials in a report on Monday, October 9th. SunTrust Banks reissued a buy rating and set a $228.00 target price on shares of Martin Marietta Materials in a report on Friday, October 27th. Barclays initiated coverage on shares of Martin Marietta Materials in a report on Tuesday, December 12th. They set an equal weight rating and a $227.00 target price on the stock. Finally, Stephens reissued a hold rating and set a $250.00 target price on shares of Martin Marietta Materials in a report on Wednesday, January 3rd. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Martin Marietta Materials currently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $240.50.

Shares of Martin Marietta Materials (NYSE:MLM) traded up $0.34 during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $226.98. 493,456 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 628,165. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.38, a current ratio of 2.73 and a quick ratio of 1.50. Martin Marietta Materials has a 1-year low of $191.09 and a 1-year high of $244.32. The company has a market cap of $14,270.00, a PE ratio of 33.09, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.89 and a beta of 1.12.

Martin Marietta Materials (NYSE:MLM) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, November 2nd. The construction company reported $2.39 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $2.45 by ($0.06). Martin Marietta Materials had a net margin of 11.03% and a return on equity of 10.39%. The business had revenue of $1.02 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.07 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $2.49 EPS. The company’s revenue was down 1.5% compared to the same quarter last year. analysts forecast that Martin Marietta Materials will post 6.75 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, December 29th. Stockholders of record on Friday, December 1st were given a dividend of $0.44 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, November 30th. This represents a $1.76 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.78%. Martin Marietta Materials’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 25.66%.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Sun Life Financial INC grew its position in shares of Martin Marietta Materials by 6,442.9% during the 2nd quarter. Sun Life Financial INC now owns 458 shares of the construction company’s stock valued at $102,000 after purchasing an additional 451 shares in the last quarter. Highlander Capital Management LLC purchased a new position in shares of Martin Marietta Materials during the 3rd quarter valued at $124,000. Massey Quick Simon & CO. LLC purchased a new position in shares of Martin Marietta Materials during the 3rd quarter valued at $152,000. Westwood Holdings Group Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Martin Marietta Materials during the 2nd quarter valued at $187,000. Finally, Numeric Investors LLC purchased a new position in shares of Martin Marietta Materials during the 2nd quarter valued at $200,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 97.22% of the company’s stock.

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Martin Marietta Materials Company Profile

Martin Marietta Materials, Inc is a supplier of aggregates products (crushed stone, sand, and gravel) used for the construction of infrastructure, nonresidential, and residential projects. Aggregates products are also used for railroad ballast and in agricultural, utility and environmental applications.

Analyst Recommendations for Martin Marietta Materials (NYSE:MLM)

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