Granite Construction Inc. (NYSE:GVA) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “strong sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued on Monday.

According to Zacks, “Granite Construction, Inc. is a diversified heavy civil constractor and construction materials producer. The Company concentrates on ifrastructure projects including roads, bridges, dams, tunnels, canals and rapid transit facilities. The Company also manufactures asphalt, concrete base rock and other construction materials. The Company has offices in Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Texas, Georgia and California. “

A number of other research analysts also recently commented on the stock. MKM Partners reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $62.00 price objective on shares of Granite Construction in a research note on Wednesday, March 15th. Griffin Securities reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Granite Construction in a research note on Friday, March 10th. FBR & Co reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and set a $67.00 price objective (down previously from $70.00) on shares of Granite Construction in a research note on Monday, February 27th. DA Davidson reaffirmed a “neutral” rating on shares of Granite Construction in a research note on Monday, February 13th. Finally, Canaccord Genuity began coverage on shares of Granite Construction in a research note on Tuesday, January 10th. They set a “buy” rating and a $70.00 price objective for the company. Three analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and six have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Granite Construction has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $57.56.

Analyst Recommendations for Granite Construction (NYSE:GVA)

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Shares of Granite Construction (NYSE:GVA) traded down 2.12% on Monday, reaching $47.94. 629,557 shares of the company were exchanged. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $53.62 and a 200 day moving average price of $52.67. The stock has a market capitalization of $1.90 billion, a PE ratio of 33.76 and a beta of 1.47. Granite Construction has a 1-year low of $40.16 and a 1-year high of $62.18.

Granite Construction (NYSE:GVA) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Friday, February 17th. The company reported $0.40 EPS for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.58 by $0.18. Granite Construction had a net margin of 2.77% and a return on equity of 7.85%. The company had revenue of $666.81 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $685.85 million. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $0.62 EPS. The company’s revenue was up 5.8% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts forecast that Granite Construction will post $2.19 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, April 14th. Stockholders of record on Friday, March 31st will be paid a dividend of $0.13 per share. This represents a $0.52 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.08%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, March 29th. Granite Construction’s dividend payout ratio is currently 30.41%.

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In other news, insider Laurel J. Krzeminski sold 3,174 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, March 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $50.11, for a total transaction of $159,049.14. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 54,854 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,748,733.94. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Corporate insiders own 1.30% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Macquarie Group Ltd. increased its stake in Granite Construction by 37.2% in the second quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 637,147 shares of the company’s stock worth $29,022,000 after buying an additional 172,595 shares during the period. Foundry Partners LLC increased its stake in Granite Construction by 5.7% in the third quarter. Foundry Partners LLC now owns 7,265 shares of the company’s stock worth $361,000 after buying an additional 390 shares during the period. First Mercantile Trust Co. increased its stake in Granite Construction by 10.9% in the third quarter. First Mercantile Trust Co. now owns 18,353 shares of the company’s stock worth $913,000 after buying an additional 1,802 shares during the period. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund increased its stake in Granite Construction by 2.1% in the third quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 13,439 shares of the company’s stock worth $668,000 after buying an additional 273 shares during the period. Finally, First National Bank of Omaha increased its stake in Granite Construction by 12.6% in the third quarter. First National Bank of Omaha now owns 22,805 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,134,000 after buying an additional 2,555 shares during the period. 90.76% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Granite Construction

Granite Construction Incorporated is a heavy civil contractor and construction materials producer in the United States. The Company operates through three segments: Construction, Large Project Construction and Construction Materials. Its Construction segment performs construction management, as well as various civil construction projects with a portion of the work focused on new construction and improvement of streets, roads, highways, bridges, site work, underground, power-related facilities, water-related facilities, utilities and other infrastructure projects.

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