Vulcan Materials Co. (NYSE:VMC) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Tuesday.
According to Zacks, “Vulcan Materials missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate for both earnings and sales in the second quarter of 2016. While profits were strong, sales in the quarter were hurt by below-trend shipment growth due to an extremely wet weather and slower than expected large project starts in the quarter. Though the company maintained its aggregates 2016 shipment guidance, it cautioned that achieving the plan will require a favorable weather in second half and ramping of large infrastructure project work. Overall, the company’s strong aggregate reserve position, pricing power, consistent profit improvements, divestitures of non-strategic operations and significant debt reduction are encouraging. However, construction labor shortages and other bottlenecks are partially hurting demand growth.”
A number of other research firms also recently issued reports on VMC. Argus restated a “buy” rating and issued a $129.00 price target on shares of Vulcan Materials in a research note on Wednesday, August 3rd. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. downgraded Vulcan Materials from a “conviction-buy” rating to a “buy” rating and raised their price target for the stock from $128.00 to $146.00 in a research note on Wednesday, June 8th. Alembic Global Advisors initiated coverage on Vulcan Materials in a research note on Thursday, June 9th. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $125.00 price target on the stock. Jefferies Group restated a “hold” rating on shares of Vulcan Materials in a research note on Wednesday, August 31st. Finally, Bank of America Corp. reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Vulcan Materials in a research report on Friday, June 17th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $128.22.
Vulcan Materials (NYSE:VMC) opened at 109.35 on Tuesday. Vulcan Materials has a 52 week low of $78.83 and a 52 week high of $127.20. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $113.29 and a 200-day moving average price of $114.86. The company has a market capitalization of $14.55 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 41.72 and a beta of 1.19.
Vulcan Materials (NYSE:VMC) last released its quarterly earnings results on Monday, August 1st. The company reported $0.90 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.00 by $0.10. The firm earned $956.80 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.01 billion. Vulcan Materials had a return on equity of 8.74% and a net margin of 9.85%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 6.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $0.35 earnings per share. Analysts anticipate that Vulcan Materials will post $3.28 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 9th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, August 24th were issued a dividend of $0.20 per share. The ex-dividend date was Monday, August 22nd. This represents a $0.80 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.73%. Vulcan Materials’s dividend payout ratio is presently 30.65%.
In other Vulcan Materials news, insider David J. Grayson sold 2,025 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $118.77, for a total transaction of $240,509.25. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 18,637 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,213,516.49. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, insider Stanley G. Bass sold 829 shares of Vulcan Materials stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, August 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $121.07, for a total value of $100,367.03. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 15,185 shares in the company, valued at $1,838,447.95. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 0.92% of the company’s stock.
Several large investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Credit Agricole S A boosted its stake in shares of Vulcan Materials by 16.2% in the first quarter. Credit Agricole S A now owns 26,417 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,789,000 after buying an additional 3,687 shares during the period. Aviva PLC boosted its stake in shares of Vulcan Materials by 1.3% in the first quarter. Aviva PLC now owns 67,652 shares of the company’s stock valued at $7,142,000 after buying an additional 896 shares during the period. ING Groep NV purchased a new stake in shares of Vulcan Materials during the first quarter valued at about $325,000. Huntington Asset Advisors Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of Vulcan Materials during the first quarter valued at about $566,000. Finally, M&T Bank Corp boosted its stake in shares of Vulcan Materials by 11.4% in the first quarter. M&T Bank Corp now owns 19,305 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,038,000 after buying an additional 1,973 shares during the period. 86.71% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
Vulcan Materials Company Profile
Vulcan Materials Company is a producer of construction aggregates (primarily crushed stone, sand and gravel) and a producer of asphalt mix and ready-mixed concrete. The Company has four segments organized around its principal product lines: Aggregates, Asphalt Mix, Concrete and Calcium. The Company operates approximately 344 aggregates facilities.
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