Vulcan Materials (VMC) Upgraded at Zacks Investment Research

Vulcan Materials (NYSE:VMC) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday. The firm presently has a $145.00 target price on the construction company’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price objective indicates a potential upside of 12.68% from the stock’s previous close.

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. Vulcan Materials’ shares have outperformed the industry in the last six months and earnings estimates have moved north for 2018 over the last 30 days, reflecting analysts’ optimism.”

VMC has been the subject of several other research reports. Bank of America reduced their price objective on shares of Vulcan Materials from $130.00 to $128.00 and set a “neutral” rating for the company in a report on Thursday, October 19th. Jefferies Group upped their price objective on shares of Vulcan Materials from $122.00 to $128.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, November 3rd. Citigroup reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $144.00 price objective on shares of Vulcan Materials in a report on Tuesday, December 26th. SunTrust Banks set a $145.00 price objective on shares of Vulcan Materials and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Saturday, December 16th. Finally, Stephens reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $158.00 price objective on shares of Vulcan Materials in a report on Wednesday, January 3rd. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the stock. Vulcan Materials presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $146.00.

Vulcan Materials (NYSE VMC) traded down $0.69 during mid-day trading on Wednesday, reaching $128.68. 785,154 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 1,492,548. The firm has a market capitalization of $17,150.00, a P/E ratio of 43.94, a P/E/G ratio of 1.86 and a beta of 0.84. Vulcan Materials has a 1-year low of $108.95 and a 1-year high of $141.20. The company has a quick ratio of 3.34, a current ratio of 4.22 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.60.

In other Vulcan Materials news, insider Michael R. Mills sold 3,738 shares of the company’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 sale, the insider now directly owns 44,581 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $5,998,819.36. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, insider Michael R. Mills sold 4,659 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, January 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $133.25, for a total transaction of $620,811.75. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 45,351 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $6,043,020.75. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.89% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. BlackRock Inc. lifted its holdings in Vulcan Materials by 18.4% in the 4th quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 10,394,204 shares of the construction company’s stock valued at $1,334,304,000 after acquiring an additional 1,614,350 shares during the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp lifted its holdings in Vulcan Materials by 3.1% in the 4th quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 2,542,748 shares of the construction company’s stock valued at $326,414,000 after acquiring an additional 76,434 shares during the last quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN lifted its holdings in Vulcan Materials by 17.5% in the 3rd quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 2,385,223 shares of the construction company’s stock valued at $285,272,000 after acquiring an additional 354,498 shares during the last quarter. Third Point LLC lifted its holdings in Vulcan Materials by 46.9% in the 3rd quarter. Third Point LLC now owns 2,350,000 shares of the construction company’s stock valued at $281,060,000 after acquiring an additional 750,000 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Fred Alger Management Inc. lifted its holdings in Vulcan Materials by 87.8% in the 4th quarter. Fred Alger Management Inc. now owns 1,639,575 shares of the construction company’s stock valued at $210,472,000 after acquiring an additional 766,462 shares during the last quarter. 88.78% of the stock is owned by 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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