Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Martin Marietta Materials, Inc. (NYSE:MLM) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report issued on Friday morning.

According to Zacks, “Martin Marietta’s string of acquisitions, divestitures and attractive shareholder returns are encouraging. Also, an uptick in private and public construction activity will likely boost demand. Government initiatives toward finance infrastructure projects are expected to grow and continue to play an extended role in public sector activity. However, shares of Martin Marietta have underperformed the Zacks categorized Building Products – Concrete and Aggregates industry so far this year. Adverse weather conditions and lower margins in aggregates downstream operations are marring the company’s prospects.”

A number of other equities analysts have also weighed in on the company. BidaskClub upgraded Martin Marietta Materials from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note on Thursday, June 15th. Stephens lifted their price target on Martin Marietta Materials from $246.00 to $250.00 and gave the company an equal weight rating in a research note on Thursday, May 4th. Stifel Nicolaus lifted their price target on Martin Marietta Materials from $258.00 to $265.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Wednesday, May 3rd. Cleveland Research upgraded Martin Marietta Materials from a neutral rating to a buy rating in a research note on Friday, March 31st. Finally, Citigroup Inc assumed coverage on Martin Marietta Materials in a research note on Wednesday, March 29th. They issued a buy rating and a $245.00 price target for the company. Seven research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Martin Marietta Materials has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $229.29.

Shares of Martin Marietta Materials (NYSE MLM) traded down 1.42% during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $220.60. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 325,005 shares. Martin Marietta Materials has a 12-month low of $167.06 and a 12-month high of $244.32. The firm has a market cap of $13.85 billion, a P/E ratio of 33.29 and a beta of 1.14. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $229.22 and its 200 day moving average price is $223.50.

Martin Marietta Materials (NYSE:MLM) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, May 2nd. The construction company reported $0.67 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.62 by $0.05. The business had revenue of $791.70 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $729.28 million. Martin Marietta Materials had a return on equity of 10.32% and a net margin of 10.91%. The company’s revenue was up 7.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.69 EPS. On average, analysts expect that Martin Marietta Materials will post $7.14 EPS for the current year.

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The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, June 30th. Investors of record on Thursday, June 1st were issued a $0.42 dividend. This represents a $1.68 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.76%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, May 30th. Martin Marietta Materials’s dividend payout ratio is presently 25.42%.

In other Martin Marietta Materials news, SVP Donald A. Mccunniff sold 1,391 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, May 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $240.17, for a total value of $334,076.47. Following the sale, the senior vice president now owns 19,858 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,769,295.86. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, Chairman C Howard Nye sold 10,258 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, May 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $239.16, for a total value of $2,453,303.28. Following the completion of the sale, the chairman now directly owns 143,038 shares in the company, valued at approximately $34,208,968.08. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 18,121 shares of company stock worth $4,332,440 over the last quarter. 1.06% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. BlackRock Inc. raised its stake in Martin Marietta Materials by 3,137.5% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 3,736,667 shares of the construction company’s stock worth $815,527,000 after buying an additional 3,621,250 shares in the last quarter. Iridian Asset Management LLC CT raised its stake in Martin Marietta Materials by 83.4% in the first quarter. Iridian Asset Management LLC CT now owns 1,060,115 shares of the construction company’s stock worth $231,370,000 after buying an additional 482,165 shares in the last quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. raised its stake in Martin Marietta Materials by 21.8% in the first quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 1,333,161 shares of the construction company’s stock worth $290,962,000 after buying an additional 238,711 shares in the last quarter. Janus Capital Management LLC raised its stake in Martin Marietta Materials by 101.2% in the first quarter. Janus Capital Management LLC now owns 424,223 shares of the construction company’s stock worth $92,587,000 after buying an additional 213,335 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Vanguard Group Inc. raised its stake in Martin Marietta Materials by 3.3% in the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 6,229,398 shares of the construction company’s stock worth $1,359,565,000 after buying an additional 198,069 shares in the last quarter. 96.34% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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.

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Analyst Recommendations for Martin Marietta Materials (NYSE:MLM)

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