Vulcan Materials (VMC) Lifted to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

Vulcan Materials (NYSE:VMC) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “strong sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued on Sunday.

According to Zacks, “Vulcan Materials’ strong aggregate reserve position, pricing power, divestiture of non-strategic operations, bolt-on acquisitions and significant debt reduction are encouraging. Sustained growth in private construction activity bodes well for Vulcan Materials. However, hurricanes Harvey and Irma had a major impact on Vulcan's operations and results in the third quarter. Operations in important Southeastern markets, particularly Florida and Georgia, as well as coastal markets in Texas and along the central Gulf Coast were disrupted.  Apart from the immediate impact of the storms, labor market disruptions, haul truck shortages and other logistical challenges continue. Though, Vulcan Materials’ shares have slightly outperformed the industry so far this year, estimates have moved down for 2017 and 2018 over the last 60 days, reflecting analysts’ concern.”

Several other analysts also recently weighed in on VMC. Citigroup reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $140.00 price target (down previously from $145.00) on shares of Vulcan Materials in a research note on Monday, October 9th. Royal Bank of Canada reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $154.00 price target on shares of Vulcan Materials in a research note on Tuesday, October 10th. Jefferies Group reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $122.00 price target on shares of Vulcan Materials in a research note on Friday, October 13th. Bank of America dropped their price target on Vulcan Materials from $130.00 to $128.00 and set a “neutral” rating on the stock in a research note on Thursday, October 19th. Finally, Barclays assumed coverage on Vulcan Materials in a research note on Tuesday, December 12th. They set an “overweight” rating and a $135.00 price target on the stock. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating and six have given a buy rating to the company. Vulcan Materials has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $143.00.

Vulcan Materials (VMC) opened at $135.03 on Friday. Vulcan Materials has a one year low of $108.95 and a one year high of $137.65. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.60, a quick ratio of 3.34 and a current ratio of 4.22. The firm has a market capitalization of $17,862.44, a price-to-earnings ratio of 45.46, a P/E/G ratio of 1.97 and a beta of 0.88.

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

In other news, insider Michael R. Mills sold 4,659 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, January 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $133.25, for a total value of $620,811.75. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 45,351 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $6,043,020.75. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, insider Michael R. Mills sold 3,738 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, January 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $134.56, for a total value of $502,985.28. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 44,581 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $5,998,819.36. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.89% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. Sun Life Financial INC lifted its holdings in shares of Vulcan Materials by 10,666.7% in the 2nd quarter. Sun Life Financial INC now owns 969 shares of the construction company’s stock valued at $123,000 after buying an additional 960 shares during the period. Schroder Investment Management Group acquired a new position in shares of Vulcan Materials in the 2nd quarter valued at about $187,000. FCA Corp TX acquired a new position in shares of Vulcan Materials in the 3rd quarter valued at about $215,000. WINTON GROUP Ltd acquired a new position in shares of Vulcan Materials in the 2nd quarter valued at about $218,000. Finally, LMR Partners LLP acquired a new position in shares of Vulcan Materials in the 3rd quarter valued at about $220,000. 89.04% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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Vulcan Materials Company Profile

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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