Vulcan Materials (VMC) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research to Strong Sell

Vulcan Materials (NYSE:VMC) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a report released on Saturday.

According to Zacks, “Vulcan Materials shares have underperformed its industry in the past one year. Estimates for 2018 moved south by 4.7% over the last 60 days, reflecting concerns for the stock's prospects. The company is susceptible to bad weather conditions as most of its products are used outdoors in the public or private construction industry. Inclement weather affects both the company’s ability to produce and distribute products and affects demand as construction work can be hampered by weather. In the third quarter of 2017, hurricanes Harvey and Irma had a major impact on Vulcan's operations and results. Aggregates shipments were lowered by at least 1.5 million tons during the quarter. Apart from the immediate impact of the storms, labor market disruptions, haul truck shortages and other logistical challenges continue to trouble.”

VMC has been the subject of several other research reports. Barclays began coverage on shares of Vulcan Materials in a report on Tuesday, December 12th. They set an “overweight” rating and a $135.00 target price for the company. SunTrust Banks set a $145.00 target price on shares of Vulcan Materials and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Saturday, December 16th. Royal Bank of Canada reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $154.00 target price on shares of Vulcan Materials in a report on Tuesday, October 10th. Jefferies Group reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $122.00 target price on shares of Vulcan Materials in a report on Friday, October 13th. Finally, Citigroup reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $144.00 target price on shares of Vulcan Materials in a report on Tuesday, December 26th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and six have given a buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $142.13.

Shares of Vulcan Materials (VMC) traded down $1.48 during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $131.90. 1,282,572 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 1,270,000. The company has a market cap of $17,450.00, a P/E ratio of 45.02, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.98 and a beta of 0.87. The company has a quick ratio of 3.34, a current ratio of 4.22 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.60. Vulcan Materials has a 1-year low of $108.95 and a 1-year high of $136.82.

Vulcan Materials (NYSE:VMC) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, November 1st. The construction company reported $1.04 EPS for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $1.40 by ($0.36). The company had revenue of $1.09 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.07 billion. Vulcan Materials had a return on equity of 8.71% and a net margin of 10.20%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 8.6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $1.01 EPS. equities research analysts anticipate that Vulcan Materials will post 3.01 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other Vulcan Materials news, insider Michael R. Mills sold 4,659 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, January 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $133.25, for a total value of $620,811.75. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 45,351 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $6,043,020.75. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Insiders own 0.89% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Vulcan Materials by 13.2% during the 3rd quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC now owns 227,542 shares of the construction company’s stock worth $27,214,000 after acquiring an additional 26,581 shares during the period. AXA lifted its holdings in shares of Vulcan Materials by 46.3% during the 3rd quarter. AXA now owns 46,657 shares of the construction company’s stock worth $5,580,000 after acquiring an additional 14,759 shares during the period. GSA Capital Partners LLP bought a new stake in shares of Vulcan Materials during the 3rd quarter worth approximately $232,000. IFM Investors Pty Ltd bought a new stake in shares of Vulcan Materials during the 3rd quarter worth approximately $475,000. Finally, California Public Employees Retirement System lifted its holdings in shares of Vulcan Materials by 5.1% during the 3rd quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 286,075 shares of the construction company’s stock worth $34,215,000 after acquiring an additional 13,975 shares during the period. 89.02% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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About Vulcan Materials

Vulcan Materials Company is a supplier of construction aggregates (primarily crushed stone, sand and gravel) and a producer of asphalt mix and ready-mixed concrete. The Company operates through four segments: Aggregates, Asphalt Mix, Concrete and Calcium. The Aggregates segment produces and sells aggregates (crushed stone, sand and gravel, sand, and other aggregates) and related products and services (transportation and other).

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