Martin Marietta Materials, Inc. (NYSE:MLM) was the recipient of a significant growth in short interest during the month of September. As of September 30th, there was short interest totalling 1,430,000 shares, a growth of 11.7% from the August 30th total of 1,280,000 shares. Currently, 2.3% of the company’s stock are short sold. Based on an average daily volume of 573,500 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 2.5 days.

A number of research firms recently commented on MLM. Exane BNP Paribas began coverage on Martin Marietta Materials in a research report on Wednesday, October 9th. They set an “underperform” rating for the company. JPMorgan Chase & Co. upped their price objective on Martin Marietta Materials from $265.00 to $285.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research report on Thursday, September 5th. SunTrust Banks upped their price objective on Martin Marietta Materials from $235.00 to $285.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday. Longbow Research set a $265.00 price objective on Martin Marietta Materials and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, August 30th. Finally, Barclays reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $284.00 price objective on shares of Martin Marietta Materials in a research report on Wednesday. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating and twelve have given a buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $241.30.

NYSE:MLM traded up $0.52 during mid-day trading on Wednesday, hitting $266.35. 16,286 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 516,327. The stock’s fifty day moving average price is $262.75 and its 200-day moving average price is $233.82. Martin Marietta Materials has a one year low of $150.75 and a one year high of $275.99. The company has a quick ratio of 1.08, a current ratio of 1.86 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.62. The firm has a market cap of $16.57 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 32.95, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.48 and a beta of 1.11.

Martin Marietta Materials (NYSE:MLM) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, July 30th. The construction company reported $3.01 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $3.08 by ($0.07). Martin Marietta Materials had a net margin of 11.37% and a return on equity of 10.35%. The company had revenue of $1.28 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.27 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $3.25 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 6.4% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts predict that Martin Marietta Materials will post 9.38 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, September 30th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, September 3rd were issued a dividend of $0.55 per share. This represents a $2.20 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.83%. The ex-dividend date was Friday, August 30th. This is a positive change from Martin Marietta Materials’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.48. Martin Marietta Materials’s payout ratio is currently 27.19%.

In other news, CEO C Howard Nye sold 7,440 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Friday, August 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $253.52, for a total value of $1,886,188.80. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 154,544 shares in the company, valued at $39,179,994.88. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, EVP Roselyn R. Bar sold 2,821 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $246.93, for a total value of $696,589.53. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 57,149 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $14,111,802.57. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 21,485 shares of company stock valued at $5,317,618 in the last 90 days. Company insiders own 0.73% of the company’s stock.

Large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Commonwealth Bank of Australia raised its position in Martin Marietta Materials by 28.1% during the second quarter. Commonwealth Bank of Australia now owns 196 shares of the construction company’s stock valued at $43,000 after purchasing an additional 43 shares during the period. D.A. Davidson & CO. raised its position in Martin Marietta Materials by 0.7% during the second quarter. D.A. Davidson & CO. now owns 6,563 shares of the construction company’s stock valued at $1,510,000 after purchasing an additional 44 shares during the period. Valeo Financial Advisors LLC raised its position in Martin Marietta Materials by 4.9% during the second quarter. Valeo Financial Advisors LLC now owns 1,070 shares of the construction company’s stock valued at $246,000 after purchasing an additional 50 shares during the period. Hartford Investment Management Co. raised its position in Martin Marietta Materials by 0.8% during the second quarter. Hartford Investment Management Co. now owns 6,851 shares of the construction company’s stock valued at $1,576,000 after purchasing an additional 53 shares during the period. Finally, Dupont Capital Management Corp raised its position in Martin Marietta Materials by 1.8% during the second quarter. Dupont Capital Management Corp now owns 3,252 shares of the construction company’s stock valued at $748,000 after purchasing an additional 56 shares during the period.

Martin Marietta Materials Company Profile

Martin Marietta Materials, Inc, a natural resource-based building materials company, supplies aggregates and heavy building materials to the construction industry in the United States and internationally. The company offers crushed stone, sand, and gravel products; ready mixed concrete and asphalt; paving products and services; Portland and specialty cement for use in the infrastructure projects, and nonresidential and residential construction markets, as well as in the railroad, agricultural, utility, and environmental industries.

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