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

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

Analyst Recommendations for Vulcan Materials Company (NYSE:VMC)

Vulcan Materials Company (NYSE:VMC) opened at 115.85 on Tuesday. The firm has a market cap of $15.33 billion, a PE ratio of 37.50 and a beta of 1.19. Vulcan Materials Company has a 52 week low of $104.04 and a 52 week high of $138.18. The firm’s 50 day moving average price is $120.50 and its 200-day moving average price is $120.50.

Vulcan Materials Company (NYSE:VMC) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, February 7th. The company reported $0.69 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.85 by $0.16. The business earned $873 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $910.06 million. Vulcan Materials Company had a net margin of 11.00% and a return on equity of 8.61%. Vulcan Materials Company’s revenue for the quarter was up 1.8% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $0.74 EPS. On average, analysts forecast that Vulcan Materials Company will post $4.01 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, March 10th. Stockholders of record on Friday, February 24th were issued a $0.25 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, February 22nd. This represents a $1.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.87%. This is a positive change from Vulcan Materials Company’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.20. Vulcan Materials Company’s dividend payout ratio is presently 27.40%.

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Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in VMC. BP PLC raised its stake 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 during the last quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. raised its stake 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 during the last quarter. BlackRock Group LTD raised its stake 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 during the last quarter. Princeton Capital Management Inc. raised its stake 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 during the last quarter. Finally, Pennsylvania Trust Co acquired a new stake in Vulcan Materials Company during the third quarter worth about $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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