Vulcan Materials Co. (VMC) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research to “Sell”
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.”
Several other research firms have also weighed in on VMC. Argus restated a buy rating and set a $129.00 price target on shares of Vulcan Materials in a research report on Wednesday, August 3rd. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. lowered Vulcan Materials from a conviction-buy rating to a buy rating and lifted their price target for the company from $128.00 to $146.00 in a research report on Wednesday, June 8th. Alembic Global Advisors began coverage on Vulcan Materials in a report on Thursday, June 9th. They issued a neutral rating and a $125.00 target price on the stock. Jefferies Group reissued a hold rating on shares of Vulcan Materials in a report on Wednesday, August 31st. Finally, Bank of America Corp. reissued a buy rating on shares of Vulcan Materials in a report on Friday, June 17th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $128.22.
Vulcan Materials (NYSE:VMC) opened at 111.714 on Tuesday. The company has a market capitalization of $14.87 billion, a PE ratio of 42.623 and a beta of 1.19. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $113.53 and a 200-day moving average price of $114.90. Vulcan Materials has a one year low of $78.83 and a one year high of $127.20.
Vulcan Materials (NYSE:VMC) last released its quarterly earnings results on Monday, August 1st. The company reported $0.90 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.00 by $0.10. Vulcan Materials had a net margin of 9.85% and a return on equity of 8.74%. The firm had revenue of $956.80 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.01 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.35 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 6.9% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts expect that Vulcan Materials will post $3.28 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 9th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, August 24th were paid a $0.20 dividend. This represents a $0.80 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.72%. The ex-dividend date was Monday, August 22nd. Vulcan Materials’s payout ratio is 30.65%.
In other news, insider David J. Grayson sold 2,025 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $118.77, for a total value of $240,509.25. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 18,637 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,213,516.49. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, insider David B. Pasley sold 280 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, August 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $117.55, for a total value of $32,914.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 2,470 shares in the company, valued at $290,348.50. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.92% of the stock is owned by insiders.
Several large investors have recently modified their holdings of VMC. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its stake in shares of Vulcan Materials by 1.9% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 12,089,220 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,455,059,000 after buying an additional 221,905 shares during the last quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. increased its stake in shares of Vulcan Materials by 50.7% in the second quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 6,193,149 shares of the company’s stock valued at $745,409,000 after buying an additional 2,083,983 shares during the last quarter. State Street Corp increased its stake in shares of Vulcan Materials by 1.1% in the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 5,186,629 shares of the company’s stock valued at $547,557,000 after buying an additional 54,500 shares during the last quarter. Lone Pine Capital LLC increased its stake in shares of Vulcan Materials by 16.2% in the second quarter. Lone Pine Capital LLC now owns 3,772,719 shares of the company’s stock valued at $454,084,000 after buying an additional 525,937 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Bank of New York Mellon Corp increased its stake in shares of Vulcan Materials by 16.2% in the second quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 3,202,344 shares of the company’s stock valued at $385,433,000 after buying an additional 445,558 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 86.71% of the company’s stock.
About Vulcan Materials
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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