Martin Marietta Materials (NYSE:MLM) and PIEDMONT LITHIU/S (NASDAQ:PLLL) are both construction companies, but which is the superior business? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their institutional ownership, earnings, valuation, dividends, profitability, risk and analyst recommendations.

Dividends

Martin Marietta Materials pays an annual dividend of $1.92 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.1%. PIEDMONT LITHIU/S does not pay a dividend. Martin Marietta Materials pays out 26.7% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

0.0% of PIEDMONT LITHIU/S shares are owned by institutional investors. 0.8% of Martin Marietta Materials shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Martin Marietta Materials and PIEDMONT LITHIU/S’s gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Martin Marietta Materials $3.97 billion 2.87 $713.34 million $7.18 25.28
PIEDMONT LITHIU/S N/A N/A -$9.95 million ($1.91) -4.50

Martin Marietta Materials has higher revenue and earnings than PIEDMONT LITHIU/S. PIEDMONT LITHIU/S is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Martin Marietta Materials, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current ratings and price targets for Martin Marietta Materials and PIEDMONT LITHIU/S, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Martin Marietta Materials 0 4 5 0 2.56
PIEDMONT LITHIU/S 0 0 1 0 3.00

Martin Marietta Materials currently has a consensus target price of $214.25, suggesting a potential upside of 18.06%. PIEDMONT LITHIU/S has a consensus target price of $32.00, suggesting a potential upside of 272.09%. Given PIEDMONT LITHIU/S’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe PIEDMONT LITHIU/S is more favorable than Martin Marietta Materials.

Profitability

This table compares Martin Marietta Materials and PIEDMONT LITHIU/S’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Martin Marietta Materials 17.95% 10.78% 5.57%
PIEDMONT LITHIU/S N/A N/A N/A

Summary

Martin Marietta Materials beats PIEDMONT LITHIU/S on 10 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

Martin Marietta Materials Company Profile

Martin Marietta Materials, Inc., a natural-resource-based building materials company, supplies aggregates and heavy building materials to the construction industry in the United States and internationally. The company provides crushed stone, sand, and gravel products; ready mixed concrete, and asphalt and paving products; and Portland and specialty cement for use in the infrastructure projects, and nonresidential and residential construction markets, as well as in the railroad, agricultural, utility, and environmental industries. It also manufactures and markets magnesia-based chemical products for the industrial, agricultural, and environmental applications; and dolomitic lime primarily for customers in the steel and mining industries, as well as provides road paving construction services. The company's chemical products are used in flame retardants, wastewater treatment, pulp and paper production, and other environmental applications. Martin Marietta Materials, Inc. was founded in 1993 and is headquartered in Raleigh, North Carolina.

PIEDMONT LITHIU/S Company Profile

Piedmont Lithium Limited engages in the exploration and development of mineral properties in the United States. It primarily holds a 100% interest in the Piedmont lithium project covering a landholding of 1,092 acres in the Carolina Lithium Belt, North Carolina. The company was formerly known as WCP Resources Limited and changed its name to Piedmont Lithium Limited in August 2017. Piedmont Lithium Limited is based in Perth, Australia.

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