Vulcan Materials Company (VMC) Upgraded to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Vulcan Materials Company (NYSE:VMC) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report published on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Vulcan Materials is the largest producer of construction aggregates in the U.S. The company’s strong aggregate reserve position, pricing power, divestiture of non-strategic operations and significant debt reduction are encouraging. However, Vulcan Materials’ shares underperformed the Zacks categorized Building-Cement/Concrete/AG industry over the last one year. That said, the company's focus on reducing controllable costs and maximizing operating efficiency across the organization will likely generate higher earnings and cash flow.”

Vulcan Materials Company (NYSE:VMC) opened at 112.74 on Tuesday. The stock has a market capitalization of $14.92 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 36.50 and a beta of 1.19. Vulcan Materials Company has a 52 week low of $104.33 and a 52 week high of $138.18. The company has a 50-day moving average of $119.70 and a 200-day moving average of $120.40.

Vulcan Materials Company (NYSE:VMC) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, February 7th. The company reported $0.69 EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.85 by $0.16. The business earned $873 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $910.06 million. Vulcan Materials Company had a net margin of 11.00% and a return on equity of 8.61%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 1.8% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.74 earnings per share. Analysts anticipate that Vulcan Materials Company will post $4.01 earnings per share for the current year.

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The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, March 10th. Shareholders of record on Friday, February 24th were paid a $0.25 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, February 22nd. This is a positive change from Vulcan Materials Company’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.20. This represents a $1.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.89%. Vulcan Materials Company’s payout ratio is currently 27.40%.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of VMC. BP PLC raised its position in Vulcan Materials Company by 47.5% in the fourth quarter. BP PLC now owns 59,000 shares of the company’s stock worth $7,384,000 after buying an additional 19,000 shares in the last quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. raised its position in Vulcan Materials Company by 25.7% in the third quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 257,447 shares of the company’s stock worth $29,279,000 after buying an additional 52,600 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Group LTD raised its position in Vulcan Materials Company by 16.3% in the third quarter. BlackRock Group LTD now owns 1,188,916 shares of the company’s stock worth $135,215,000 after buying an additional 166,563 shares in the last quarter. Princeton Capital Management Inc. raised its position in Vulcan Materials Company by 8.2% in the third quarter. Princeton Capital Management Inc. now owns 13,669 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,555,000 after buying an additional 1,035 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Pennsylvania Trust Co acquired a new position in Vulcan Materials Company during the third quarter worth approximately $3,586,000. Institutional investors own 87.90% of the company’s stock.

About Vulcan Materials Company

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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