Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Martin Marietta Materials, Inc. (NYSE:MLM) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report sent to investors on Wednesday morning.

According to Zacks, “Martin Marietta second-quarter results earnings missed analysts’ expectations but increased 18.4% from the prior-year quarter. Total revenue (including freight and delivery) increased 8.8% from the year-ago quarter. We are encouraged by the increased activities in the non-residential and residential markets. Building Materials’ benefitted from higher pricing and volume gains across all product lines while Magnesia Specialties segment were driven by strength in the chemicals and lime product lines in the quarter. However, volume growth in the Mid-America Group was affected by heavy precipitation while Southeast Group’s shipments were affected by wet weather conditions throughout the majority of the second quarter. Infrastructure volume growth was flat during the quarter as weather-related issues delayed projects.”

Several other research firms have also commented on MLM. Stephens upped their price target on shares of Martin Marietta Materials from $246.00 to $250.00 and gave the company an equal weight rating in a report on Thursday, May 4th. Stifel Nicolaus upped their price target on shares of Martin Marietta Materials from $258.00 to $265.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Wednesday, May 3rd. BidaskClub raised shares of Martin Marietta Materials from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report on Thursday, June 15th. Finally, Jefferies Group LLC set a $166.00 price target on shares of Martin Marietta Materials and gave the company a hold rating in a report on Monday, August 21st. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $220.57.

Shares of Martin Marietta Materials (NYSE:MLM) opened at 195.54 on Wednesday. The company has a market capitalization of $12.29 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 28.14 and a beta of 1.14. The firm has a 50 day moving average price of $215.04 and a 200 day moving average price of $220.57. Martin Marietta Materials has a 52 week low of $167.06 and a 52 week high of $244.32.

Martin Marietta Materials (NYSE:MLM) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, August 1st. The construction company reported $2.25 EPS for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $2.38 by $0.13. Martin Marietta Materials had a net margin of 11.19% and a return on equity of 10.69%. The business had revenue of $996.30 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.01 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $1.90 earnings per share. Martin Marietta Materials’s revenue for the quarter was up 8.8% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts forecast that Martin Marietta Materials will post $7.14 EPS for the current year.

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The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 29th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, September 5th will be paid a dividend of $0.44 per share. This is a positive change from Martin Marietta Materials’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.42. This represents a $1.76 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.90%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, August 31st. Martin Marietta Materials’s dividend payout ratio is presently 24.14%.

In other news, Director John J. Koraleski bought 500 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 18th. The shares were acquired at an average cost of $198.37 per share, with a total value of $99,185.00. Following the purchase, the director now directly owns 1,439 shares in the company, valued at approximately $285,454.43. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Corporate insiders own 8.45% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of MLM. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Public School Empls Retrmt SYS raised its stake in Martin Marietta Materials by 28.6% in the first quarter. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Public School Empls Retrmt SYS now owns 4,678 shares of the construction company’s stock valued at $1,021,000 after buying an additional 1,040 shares during the last quarter. Engineers Gate Manager LP purchased a new stake in Martin Marietta Materials during the first quarter valued at about $2,117,000. Confluence Investment Management LLC raised its stake in Martin Marietta Materials by 2.1% in the second quarter. Confluence Investment Management LLC now owns 350,902 shares of the construction company’s stock valued at $78,104,000 after buying an additional 7,097 shares during the last quarter. Patriot Wealth Management Inc. purchased a new stake in Martin Marietta Materials during the second quarter valued at about $6,040,000. Finally, Legal & General Group Plc raised its stake in Martin Marietta Materials by 5.1% in the first quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 294,959 shares of the construction company’s stock valued at $64,373,000 after buying an additional 14,335 shares during the last quarter. 98.25% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Martin Marietta Materials

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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