Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Eagle Materials (NYSE:EXP) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report released on Monday morning.

According to Zacks, “Eagle Materials Inc. manufactures and distributes Cement, Concrete and Aggregates, Gypsum Wallboard, Recycled Paperboard, and Oil and Gas Proppants from more than 75 facilities across the US. The Company’s Cement and Concrete and Aggregates segments participate in the construction products sector; Gypsum Wallboard and Recycled Paperboard segments participate in the building materials sector; and Oil and Gas Proppants segment participates in the oil and gas exploration sector. Eagle Materials manufactures and distributes concrete and aggregates products that are used in highway construction and maintenance and to construct residential and commercial buildings. Eagle operates aggregates quarries and concrete plants in central Texas, northern California, Kansas and Missouri. Eagle Materials is committed to building a low delivered-cost Northern white sand supply system for the energy sector. “

Other equities research analysts have also issued reports about the company. Stifel Nicolaus lowered their price objective on Eagle Materials from $135.00 to $130.00 and set a buy rating on the stock in a research note on Thursday, February 1st. Citigroup upped their price objective on Eagle Materials from $121.00 to $140.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Thursday, January 25th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $135.00.

Eagle Materials (NYSE:EXP) traded up $1.54 during mid-day trading on Monday, hitting $106.92. The stock had a trading volume of 29,929 shares, compared to its average volume of 551,983. Eagle Materials has a 52 week low of $86.51 and a 52 week high of $122.49. The company has a market cap of $5,320.96, a price-to-earnings ratio of 20.00, a P/E/G ratio of 2.58 and a beta of 1.17. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.40, a quick ratio of 1.06 and a current ratio of 2.44.

Eagle Materials (NYSE:EXP) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, January 31st. The construction company reported $1.63 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.43 by $0.20. Eagle Materials had a return on equity of 18.66% and a net margin of 18.53%. The company had revenue of $359.40 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $364.52 million. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $1.17 EPS. The company’s revenue was up 18.8% compared to the same quarter last year. research analysts expect that Eagle Materials will post 5.3 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, May 11th. Investors of record on Thursday, April 12th will be given a dividend of $0.10 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, April 11th. This represents a $0.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.37%. Eagle Materials’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 7.59%.

In related news, COO Michael Haack sold 6,731 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, December 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $115.00, for a total transaction of $774,065.00. Following the sale, the chief operating officer now directly owns 28,136 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,235,640. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, EVP Robert S. Stewart sold 29,892 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, November 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $111.77, for a total value of $3,341,028.84. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 34,323 shares in the company, valued at $3,836,281.71. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders have sold 61,623 shares of company stock worth $6,930,994. 4.10% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. grew its position in Eagle Materials by 1.8% during the 2nd quarter. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. now owns 14,525 shares of the construction company’s stock worth $1,342,000 after acquiring an additional 254 shares during the last quarter. Suntrust Banks Inc. grew its position in Eagle Materials by 11.4% during the 2nd quarter. Suntrust Banks Inc. now owns 2,718 shares of the construction company’s stock worth $249,000 after acquiring an additional 278 shares during the last quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. lifted its holdings in Eagle Materials by 1.0% during the 2nd quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. now owns 32,626 shares of the construction company’s stock worth $3,015,000 after buying an additional 315 shares in the last quarter. Aperio Group LLC lifted its holdings in Eagle Materials by 3.8% during the 4th quarter. Aperio Group LLC now owns 12,797 shares of the construction company’s stock worth $1,450,000 after buying an additional 472 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Fox Run Management L.L.C. lifted its holdings in Eagle Materials by 8.2% during the 3rd quarter. Fox Run Management L.L.C. now owns 6,600 shares of the construction company’s stock worth $704,000 after buying an additional 500 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 91.58% of the company’s stock.

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About Eagle Materials

Eagle Materials Inc is a supplier of construction products, building materials and materials used for oil and natural gas extraction. The Company operates through five segments: Cement, Concrete and Aggregates, Gypsum Wallboard, Recycled Paperboard, and Oil and Gas Proppants. The Company’s construction products are used in residential, industrial, commercial and infrastructure construction, and include cement, slag, concrete and aggregates.

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