Vulcan Materials (NYSE: VMC) and MDU Resources Group (NYSE:MDU) are both construction companies, but which is the superior stock? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their risk, dividends, institutional ownership, valuation, analyst recommendations, profitability and earnings.

Dividends

Vulcan Materials pays an annual dividend of $1.12 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.9%. MDU Resources Group pays an annual dividend of $0.79 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.8%. Vulcan Materials pays out 36.8% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. MDU Resources Group pays out 63.2% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Both companies have healthy payout ratios and should be able to cover their dividend payments with earnings for the next several years. Vulcan Materials has raised its dividend for 4 consecutive years and MDU Resources Group has raised its dividend for 8 consecutive years. MDU Resources Group is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and longer track record of dividend growth.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

94.7% of Vulcan Materials shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 64.4% of MDU Resources Group shares are owned by institutional investors. 0.8% of Vulcan Materials shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 1.0% of MDU Resources Group shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Vulcan Materials and MDU Resources Group’s gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Vulcan Materials $3.89 billion 4.45 $601.18 million $3.04 43.08
MDU Resources Group $4.44 billion 1.22 $281.20 million $1.25 22.23

Vulcan Materials has higher earnings, but lower revenue than MDU Resources Group. MDU Resources Group is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Vulcan Materials, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Profitability

This table compares Vulcan Materials and MDU Resources Group’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Vulcan Materials 15.40% 8.76% 4.39%
MDU Resources Group 6.39% 10.59% 3.99%

Risk & Volatility

Vulcan Materials has a beta of 1.01, suggesting that its share price is 1% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, MDU Resources Group has a beta of 0.68, suggesting that its share price is 32% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent recommendations and price targets for Vulcan Materials and MDU Resources Group, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Vulcan Materials 0 1 6 0 2.86
MDU Resources Group 0 0 2 0 3.00

Vulcan Materials currently has a consensus target price of $140.57, suggesting a potential upside of 7.33%. MDU Resources Group has a consensus target price of $28.75, suggesting a potential upside of 3.45%. Given Vulcan Materials’ higher possible upside, equities analysts plainly believe Vulcan Materials is more favorable than MDU Resources Group.

Summary

Vulcan Materials beats MDU Resources Group on 11 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

Vulcan Materials Company Profile

Vulcan Materials Company produces and supplies construction aggregates, asphalt mix, and ready-mixed concrete primarily in the United States. It operates through four segments: Aggregates, Asphalt, Concrete, and Calcium. The Aggregates segment provides crushed stone, sand and gravel, sand, and other aggregates; and related products and services for use in the construction and maintenance of highways, streets, and other public works, as well as in the construction of housing and commercial, industrial, and other nonresidential facilities. The Asphalt Mix segment offers asphalt mix in Arizona, California, New Mexico, Tennessee, and Texas. The Concrete segment provides ready-mixed concrete in California, Georgia, Maryland, New Mexico, Texas, Virginia, Washington D.C., and the Bahamas. The Calcium segment mines, produces, and sells calcium products for the animal feed, plastics, and water treatment industries. The company was formerly known as Virginia Holdco, Inc. Vulcan Materials Company was founded in 1909 and is headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama.

MDU Resources Group Company Profile

MDU Resources Group, Inc. engages in regulated energy delivery, and construction materials and services businesses in the United States. The company operates through five segments: Electric, Natural Gas Distribution, Pipeline and Midstream, Construction Materials and Contracting, and Construction Services. The Electric segment generates, transmits, and distributes electricity in Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming. As of December 31, 2017, it served 142,901 residential, commercial, industrial, and municipal customers in 178 communities and adjacent rural areas. The Natural Gas Distribution segment distributes natural gas in Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming, as well as Idaho, Minnesota, Oregon, and Washington; and offers related value-added services. It served approximately 938,867 residential, commercial, and industrial customers in 335 communities and adjacent rural areas. The Pipeline and Midstream segment provides natural gas transportation, underground storage, and gathering services primarily in the Rocky Mountain and northern Great Plains regions. It also provides cathodic protection and other energy-related services. The Construction Materials and Contracting segment mines, processes, and sells construction aggregates; produces and sells asphalt mix; and supplies ready-mixed concrete in the central, southern, and western United States, as well as Alaska and Hawaii. The Construction Services segment designs, constructs, and maintains overhead and underground electrical distribution and transmission lines, substations, external lighting, traffic signalization, and gas pipelines; electrical and communication wiring and infrastructure, and fire suppression systems; and renewable energy projects. It also offers utility excavation, and mechanical piping and services; and manufactures and distributes transmission line construction equipment and other supplies. The company was founded in 1924 and is based in Bismarck, North Dakota.

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