Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Vulcan Materials Company (NYSE:VMC) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report sent to investors on Friday.

According to Zacks, “Vulcan Materials’ strong aggregate reserve position, pricing power, divestiture of non-strategic operations, bolt-on acquisitions and significant debt reduction are encouraging. Sustained growth in private construction activity bodes well for both the aggregates and non-aggregates businesses of Vulcan Materials. However, slowing demand trends in California raise concern. Below-trend shipment growth and seasonal influences on construction activity could weigh on the company’s performance. Also, Vulcan Materials shares underperformed the industry year-to-date and estimates have also moved down for 2017 and 2018 over the last seven days.”

Several other research analysts have also weighed in on VMC. Argus upped their price objective on shares of Vulcan Materials from $140.00 to $145.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Friday, June 9th. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Vulcan Materials from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note on Saturday, June 10th. Citigroup Inc. reiterated a buy rating on shares of Vulcan Materials in a research note on Thursday, May 11th. Finally, Royal Bank Of Canada reiterated a buy rating and issued a $154.00 price objective on shares of Vulcan Materials in a research note on Monday, June 19th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $138.60.

Shares of Vulcan Materials (NYSE:VMC) opened at 123.12 on Friday. Vulcan Materials has a 12 month low of $105.71 and a 12 month high of $138.18. The company’s 50-day moving average is $127.57 and its 200-day moving average is $124.19. The firm has a market cap of $16.27 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 39.39 and a beta of 0.94.

Vulcan Materials (NYSE:VMC) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, May 10th. The construction company reported $0.34 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.22 by $0.12. Vulcan Materials had a net margin of 11.61% and a return on equity of 8.80%. The business had revenue of $787 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $743.79 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $0.26 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up 4.3% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts forecast that Vulcan Materials will post $4.01 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 8th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, August 23rd will be paid a $0.25 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, August 21st. This represents a $1.00 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.81%. Vulcan Materials’s dividend payout ratio is presently 32.15%.

In other Vulcan Materials news, General Counsel Jerry F. Perkins, Jr. sold 306 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, June 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $132.00, for a total value of $40,392.00. Following the completion of the sale, the general counsel now directly owns 5,292 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $698,544. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, VP Ejaz A. Khan sold 2,024 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, June 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $125.30, for a total transaction of $253,607.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders sold 6,743 shares of company stock worth $876,515. Company insiders own 0.89% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Gilder Gagnon Howe & Co. LLC purchased a new position in Vulcan Materials during the first quarter valued at approximately $105,000. NN Investment Partners Holdings N.V. increased its position in Vulcan Materials by 25.2% in the second quarter. NN Investment Partners Holdings N.V. now owns 994 shares of the construction company’s stock valued at $126,000 after buying an additional 200 shares during the last quarter. Korea Investment CORP increased its position in Vulcan Materials by 140.5% in the second quarter. Korea Investment CORP now owns 1,229 shares of the construction company’s stock valued at $156,000 after buying an additional 718 shares during the last quarter. Alexandria Capital LLC increased its position in Vulcan Materials by 32.3% in the first quarter. Alexandria Capital LLC now owns 1,230 shares of the construction company’s stock valued at $148,000 after buying an additional 300 shares during the last quarter. Finally, NEXT Financial Group Inc increased its position in Vulcan Materials by 405.7% in the first quarter. NEXT Financial Group Inc now owns 1,497 shares of the construction company’s stock valued at $181,000 after buying an additional 1,201 shares during the last quarter. 86.03% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

About Vulcan Materials

Vulcan Materials Company is a supplier of construction aggregates (primarily crushed stone, sand and gravel) and a producer of asphalt mix and ready-mixed concrete. The Company operates through four segments: Aggregates, Asphalt Mix, Concrete and Calcium. The Aggregates segment produces and sells aggregates (crushed stone, sand and gravel, sand, and other aggregates) and related products and services (transportation and other).

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Analyst Recommendations for Vulcan Materials (NYSE:VMC)

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