Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Sterling Construction (NASDAQ:STRL) from a strong-buy rating to a hold rating in a research report sent to investors on Friday.

According to Zacks, “Sterling Construction Company, Inc. is a holding company which has historically operated as a wholesale distributor to the automotive aftermarket and construction through two subsidiaries, Steel City Products and Dowling’s Fleet Service. “

STRL has been the subject of a number of other reports. BidaskClub cut Sterling Construction from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Tuesday, December 12th. TheStreet raised Sterling Construction from a c+ rating to a b- rating in a research note on Tuesday, December 12th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock has an average rating of Buy and an average target price of $17.00.

Sterling Construction (NASDAQ STRL) traded down $0.37 during midday trading on Friday, reaching $15.39. The company had a trading volume of 429,600 shares, compared to its average volume of 357,675. Sterling Construction has a twelve month low of $7.75 and a twelve month high of $18.90. The company has a current ratio of 1.44, a quick ratio of 1.42 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.62. The company has a market cap of $402.79, a PE ratio of 307.86, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.43 and a beta of 0.37.

Sterling Construction (NASDAQ:STRL) last posted its earnings results on Monday, October 30th. The construction company reported $0.26 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.22 by $0.04. Sterling Construction had a return on equity of 3.90% and a net margin of 0.25%. The business had revenue of $304.20 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $263.69 million. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $0.10 EPS. Sterling Construction’s revenue for the quarter was up 48.0% compared to the same quarter last year. analysts anticipate that Sterling Construction will post 0.44 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In related news, Director Maarten D. Hemsley sold 29,800 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, December 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $17.32, for a total transaction of $516,136.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. 5.20% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. Citadel Advisors LLC grew its stake in shares of Sterling Construction by 84.3% during the 2nd quarter. Citadel Advisors LLC now owns 31,713 shares of the construction company’s stock worth $414,000 after acquiring an additional 14,508 shares in the last quarter. Cornerstone Capital Management Holdings LLC. grew its stake in shares of Sterling Construction by 43.3% during the 2nd quarter. Cornerstone Capital Management Holdings LLC. now owns 45,700 shares of the construction company’s stock worth $596,000 after acquiring an additional 13,800 shares in the last quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. bought a new position in shares of Sterling Construction during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $1,897,000. Chicago Equity Partners LLC bought a new position in shares of Sterling Construction during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $1,646,000. Finally, Numeric Investors LLC bought a new position in shares of Sterling Construction during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $933,000. 71.91% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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About Sterling Construction

Sterling Construction Company, Inc is a heavy civil construction company engaged in the building and reconstruction of transportation and water infrastructure projects in Texas, Utah, Nevada, Arizona, California, Hawaii and other states. The Company’s transportation infrastructure projects include highways, roads, bridges, airfields, ports and light rail.

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