Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Vulcan Materials (NYSE:VMC) from a hold rating to a strong sell rating in a report issued on Saturday morning.

According to Zacks, “Vulcan Materials shares have underperformed its industry in the past one year. Estimates for 2018 moved south by 4.7% over the last 60 days, reflecting concerns for the stock's prospects. The company is susceptible to bad weather conditions as most of its products are used outdoors in the public or private construction industry. Inclement weather affects both the company’s ability to produce and distribute products and affects demand as construction work can be hampered by weather. In the third quarter of 2017, hurricanes Harvey and Irma had a major impact on Vulcan's operations and results. Aggregates shipments were lowered by at least 1.5 million tons during the quarter. Apart from the immediate impact of the storms, labor market disruptions, haul truck shortages and other logistical challenges continue to trouble.”

VMC has been the topic of a number of other reports. Bank of America lowered their price target on shares of Vulcan Materials from $130.00 to $128.00 and set a neutral rating on the stock in a report on Thursday, October 19th. Jefferies Group lifted their target price on shares of Vulcan Materials from $122.00 to $128.00 and gave the stock a hold rating in a research note on Friday, November 3rd. Citigroup reiterated a buy rating and issued a $144.00 target price on shares of Vulcan Materials in a research note on Tuesday, December 26th. SunTrust Banks set a $145.00 target price on shares of Vulcan Materials and gave the stock a buy rating in a research note on Saturday, December 16th. Finally, Stephens reiterated a buy rating and issued a $158.00 target price on shares of Vulcan Materials in a research note on Wednesday, January 3rd. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and six have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $142.13.

Shares of Vulcan Materials (VMC) opened at $134.14 on Friday. Vulcan Materials has a 1-year low of $108.95 and a 1-year high of $136.82. The firm has a market cap of $17,740.00, a PE ratio of 45.78, a PEG ratio of 1.96 and a beta of 0.87. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.60, a current ratio of 4.22 and a quick ratio of 3.34.

Vulcan Materials (NYSE:VMC) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, November 1st. The construction company reported $1.04 earnings per share for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.40 by ($0.36). Vulcan Materials had a net margin of 10.20% and a return on equity of 8.71%. The firm had revenue of $1.09 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.07 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $1.01 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 8.6% on a year-over-year basis. sell-side analysts predict that Vulcan Materials will post 3.01 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In related news, insider Michael R. Mills sold 4,659 shares of Vulcan Materials stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, January 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $133.25, for a total value of $620,811.75. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 45,351 shares in the company, valued at approximately $6,043,020.75. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. 0.89% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the business. New England Research & Management Inc. purchased a new position in Vulcan Materials during the 3rd quarter worth approximately $287,000. Seven Eight Capital LP raised its position in Vulcan Materials by 31.5% during the 2nd quarter. Seven Eight Capital LP now owns 23,800 shares of the construction company’s stock worth $3,015,000 after buying an additional 5,700 shares during the last quarter. Caxton Associates LP raised its position in Vulcan Materials by 166.7% during the 2nd quarter. Caxton Associates LP now owns 120,000 shares of the construction company’s stock worth $15,202,000 after buying an additional 75,000 shares during the last quarter. Global X MANAGEMENT CO LLC raised its position in Vulcan Materials by 20.9% during the 3rd quarter. Global X MANAGEMENT CO LLC now owns 7,222 shares of the construction company’s stock worth $864,000 after buying an additional 1,247 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Quantitative Systematic Strategies LLC raised its position in Vulcan Materials by 178.1% during the 3rd quarter. Quantitative Systematic Strategies LLC now owns 16,514 shares of the construction company’s stock worth $1,975,000 after buying an additional 10,576 shares during the last quarter. 89.02% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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Vulcan Materials Company Profile

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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