Martin Marietta Materials, Inc. (NYSE:MLM) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a note issued to investors on Monday.

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 industry year to date. Adverse weather conditions and lower margins in aggregates downstream operations are marring the company’s prospects. Earnings estimates for both the current quarter and year moved down 2.9% over the past 60 days.”

A number of other analysts also recently issued reports on MLM. Jefferies Group LLC set a $166.00 price objective on Martin Marietta Materials and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, August 21st. BidaskClub downgraded Martin Marietta Materials from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Saturday, August 5th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $220.57.

Martin Marietta Materials (MLM) traded down 0.20% on Monday, hitting $211.56. 509,647 shares of the company traded hands. The firm has a market capitalization of $13.29 billion, a PE ratio of 30.44 and a beta of 1.15. The firm’s 50 day moving average price is $212.76 and its 200 day moving average price is $219.87. Martin Marietta Materials has a 1-year low of $167.06 and a 1-year high of $244.32.

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

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In related news, Director John J. Koraleski bought 500 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 18th. The shares were purchased at an average price of $198.37 per share, with a total value of $99,185.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 1,439 shares in the company, valued at approximately $285,454.43. The acquisition was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Insiders own 8.45% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in MLM. BlackRock Inc. increased its position in shares of Martin Marietta Materials by 3,137.5% during the 1st quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 3,736,667 shares of the construction company’s stock valued at $815,527,000 after purchasing an additional 3,621,250 shares during the last quarter. Egerton Capital UK LLP increased its position in shares of Martin Marietta Materials by 329.1% during the 2nd quarter. Egerton Capital UK LLP now owns 1,967,865 shares of the construction company’s stock valued at $438,007,000 after purchasing an additional 1,509,258 shares during the last quarter. Iridian Asset Management LLC CT increased its position in shares of Martin Marietta Materials by 83.4% during the 1st quarter. Iridian Asset Management LLC CT now owns 1,060,115 shares of the construction company’s stock valued at $231,370,000 after purchasing an additional 482,165 shares during the last quarter. Harbour Capital Advisors LLC increased its position in shares of Martin Marietta Materials by 22,705.9% during the 2nd quarter. Harbour Capital Advisors LLC now owns 370,596 shares of the construction company’s stock valued at $1,665,000 after purchasing an additional 368,971 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Principal Financial Group Inc. increased its position in shares of Martin Marietta Materials by 21.8% during the 1st quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 1,333,161 shares of the construction company’s stock valued at $290,962,000 after purchasing an additional 238,711 shares during the last quarter. 95.79% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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.

Analyst Recommendations for Martin Marietta Materials (NYSE:MLM)

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