Trading Report: The Vulcan Materials Co. (VMC) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research to “Sell”

The Vulcan Materials Co. (VMC) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research to “Sell”

Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Vulcan Materials Co. (NYSE:VMC) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report issued on Tuesday morning.

According to Zacks, “Vulcan Materials missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate for both earnings and sales in the second quarter of 2016. While profits were strong, sales in the quarter were hurt by below-trend shipment growth due to an extremely wet weather and slower than expected large project starts in the quarter. Though the company maintained its aggregates 2016 shipment guidance, it cautioned that achieving the plan will require a favorable weather in second half and ramping of large infrastructure project work. Overall, the company’s strong aggregate reserve position, pricing power, consistent profit improvements, divestitures of non-strategic operations and significant debt reduction are encouraging. However, construction labor shortages and other bottlenecks are partially hurting demand growth.”

A number of other research analysts have also recently commented on the company. Jefferies Group reiterated a hold rating on shares of Vulcan Materials in a report on Wednesday, August 31st. Argus restated a buy rating and set a $129.00 price target on shares of Vulcan Materials in a research note on Wednesday, August 3rd. Royal Bank Of Canada upped their price target on Vulcan Materials from $127.00 to $140.00 and gave the stock an outperform rating in a research note on Tuesday, July 12th. Bank of America Corp. restated a buy rating on shares of Vulcan Materials in a research note on Friday, June 17th. Finally, Alembic Global Advisors initiated coverage on Vulcan Materials in a research note on Thursday, June 9th. They set a neutral rating and a $125.00 price target on the stock. 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 company. Vulcan Materials has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $128.22.

Shares of Vulcan Materials (NYSE:VMC) opened at 111.714 on Tuesday. The stock has a market capitalization of $14.87 billion, a P/E ratio of 42.623 and a beta of 1.19. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $113.53 and a 200 day moving average price of $114.90. Vulcan Materials has a one year low of $78.83 and a one year high of $127.20.

Vulcan Materials (NYSE:VMC) last released its quarterly earnings data on Monday, August 1st. The company reported $0.90 EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.00 by $0.10. Vulcan Materials had a net margin of 9.85% and a return on equity of 8.74%. The business earned $956.80 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.01 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $0.35 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was up 6.9% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts forecast that Vulcan Materials will post $3.28 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 9th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, August 24th were given a dividend of $0.20 per share. This represents a $0.80 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.72%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Monday, August 22nd. Vulcan Materials’s dividend payout ratio is currently 30.65%.

In related news, insider Stanley G. Bass sold 829 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, August 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $121.07, for a total value of $100,367.03. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 15,185 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,838,447.95. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, insider David J. Grayson sold 2,025 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, August 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $118.77, for a total value of $240,509.25. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 18,637 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,213,516.49. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 0.92% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Financial Architects Inc raised its position in Vulcan Materials by 1,268.9% in the second quarter. Financial Architects Inc now owns 1,013 shares of the company’s stock valued at $122,000 after buying an additional 939 shares during the period. Tredje AP fonden raised its position in Vulcan Materials by 173.9% in the second quarter. Tredje AP fonden now owns 1,260 shares of the company’s stock valued at $152,000 after buying an additional 800 shares during the period. Thompson Davis & CO. Inc. raised its position in Vulcan Materials by 3,155.6% in the second quarter. Thompson Davis & CO. Inc. now owns 1,465 shares of the company’s stock valued at $176,000 after buying an additional 1,420 shares during the period. Sunbelt Securities Inc. raised its position in Vulcan Materials by 179.9% in the second quarter. Sunbelt Securities Inc. now owns 1,531 shares of the company’s stock valued at $184,000 after buying an additional 984 shares during the period. Finally, IFP Advisors Inc raised its position in Vulcan Materials by 14.1% in the first quarter. IFP Advisors Inc now owns 1,847 shares of the company’s stock valued at $195,000 after buying an additional 228 shares during the period. 86.71% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Vulcan Materials Company Profile

Vulcan Materials Company is a producer of construction aggregates (primarily crushed stone, sand and gravel) and a producer of asphalt mix and ready-mixed concrete. The Company has four segments organized around its principal product lines: Aggregates, Asphalt Mix, Concrete and Calcium. The Company operates approximately 344 aggregates facilities.

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