Vulcan Materials (VMC) Rating Increased to Buy at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Vulcan Materials (NYSE:VMC) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note published on Wednesday. They currently have $145.00 price target on the construction company’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Vulcan Materials’ strong aggregate reserve position, pricing power, divestiture of non-strategic operations, bolt-on acquisitions and significant debt reduction are encouraging. Sustained growth in private construction activity bodes well for Vulcan Materials. However, hurricanes Harvey and Irma had a major impact on Vulcan's operations and results in the third quarter. Operations in important Southeastern markets, particularly Florida and Georgia, as well as coastal markets in Texas and along the central Gulf Coast were disrupted.  Apart from the immediate impact of the storms, labor market disruptions, haul truck shortages and other logistical challenges continue. Vulcan Materials’ shares have outperformed the industry in the last six months and earnings estimates have moved north for 2018 over the last 30 days, reflecting analysts’ optimism.”

Other equities research analysts have also recently issued reports about the company. Barclays began coverage on Vulcan Materials in a report on Tuesday, December 12th. They issued an overweight rating and a $135.00 target price for the company. Jefferies Group reiterated a hold rating and issued a $135.00 target price on shares of Vulcan Materials in a report on Wednesday, January 17th. Bank of America upped their target price on Vulcan Materials from $129.00 to $139.00 and gave the stock a neutral rating in a report on Monday, February 5th. Citigroup upped their target price on Vulcan Materials from $144.00 to $158.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Thursday, January 25th. Finally, Stephens reiterated a buy rating and issued a $158.00 target price on shares of Vulcan Materials in a report on Wednesday, January 3rd. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the company. Vulcan Materials presently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $146.00.

Vulcan Materials (NYSE:VMC) opened at $126.57 on Wednesday. Vulcan Materials has a 1-year low of $108.95 and a 1-year high of $141.20. The company has a current ratio of 4.22, a quick ratio of 3.34 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.60. The stock has a market capitalization of $16,740.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 57.53, a P/E/G ratio of 1.87 and a beta of 0.84.

Vulcan Materials (NYSE:VMC) last issued its earnings results on Friday, February 16th. The construction company reported $0.74 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.72 by $0.02. Vulcan Materials had a return on equity of 8.71% and a net margin of 10.20%. The business had revenue of $977.50 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $929.36 million. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $0.69 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 12.0% compared to the same quarter last year. equities analysts expect that Vulcan Materials will post 3.01 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, March 9th. Stockholders of record on Friday, February 23rd will be given a $0.28 dividend. This represents a $1.12 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.88%. This is a positive change from Vulcan Materials’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.25. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, February 22nd. Vulcan Materials’s payout ratio is presently 45.45%.

In other news, insider Michael R. Mills sold 3,738 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, January 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $134.56, for a total value of $502,985.28. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 44,581 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $5,998,819.36. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, insider Michael R. Mills sold 4,659 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Friday, January 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $133.25, for a total value of $620,811.75. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 45,351 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $6,043,020.75. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 0.89% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. WINTON GROUP Ltd acquired a new position in Vulcan Materials during the 2nd quarter valued at about $218,000. Toronto Dominion Bank increased its position in Vulcan Materials by 143.6% during the 2nd quarter. Toronto Dominion Bank now owns 44,772 shares of the construction company’s stock valued at $5,671,000 after buying an additional 147,386 shares in the last quarter. Lord Abbett & CO. LLC increased its position in Vulcan Materials by 10.4% during the 2nd quarter. Lord Abbett & CO. LLC now owns 74,160 shares of the construction company’s stock valued at $9,395,000 after buying an additional 6,994 shares in the last quarter. Shell Asset Management Co. increased its position in Vulcan Materials by 162.7% during the 3rd quarter. Shell Asset Management Co. now owns 22,200 shares of the construction company’s stock valued at $1,337,000 after buying an additional 13,748 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Quantitative Systematic Strategies LLC increased its position in Vulcan Materials by 178.1% during the 3rd quarter. Quantitative Systematic Strategies LLC now owns 16,514 shares of the construction company’s stock valued at $1,975,000 after buying an additional 10,576 shares in the last quarter. 88.78% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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Vulcan Materials Company Profile

Vulcan Materials Company is a supplier of construction aggregates (primarily crushed stone, sand and gravel) and a producer of asphalt mix and ready-mixed concrete. The Company operates through four segments: Aggregates, Asphalt Mix, Concrete and Calcium. The Aggregates segment produces and sells aggregates (crushed stone, sand and gravel, sand, and other aggregates) and related products and services (transportation and other).

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