Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Martin Marietta Materials, Inc. (NYSE:MLM) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note issued to investors on Friday morning.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Martin Marietta underperformed the broader industry so far this year. Also, earnings estimate for the current quarter and year moved down, in the last seven days. Adverse weather conditions and lower margins in aggregates downstream operations are marring the company’s prospects. Excessive rainfall, flooding, or severe drought can jeopardize shipments, production, and profitability in all of the company’s markets. Nonetheless, Martin Marietta’s string of acquisitions, divestitures and attractive shareholder returns are encouraging. Also, an uptick in private and public construction activity will likely boost demand.”

MLM has been the subject of several other reports. Stephens raised their target price on Martin Marietta Materials from $246.00 to $250.00 and gave the company an equal weight rating in a research note on Thursday, May 4th. BidaskClub upgraded Martin Marietta Materials from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note on Thursday, June 15th. Cleveland Research upgraded Martin Marietta Materials from a neutral rating to a buy rating in a research note on Friday, March 31st. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus raised their target price on Martin Marietta Materials from $258.00 to $265.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Wednesday, May 3rd. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating and five 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 $229.67.

Martin Marietta Materials (MLM) traded down 2.718% on Friday, reaching $220.275. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 526,372 shares. The company has a market cap of $13.83 billion, a P/E ratio of 33.244 and a beta of 1.14. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $226.60 and its 200 day moving average price is $223.75. Martin Marietta Materials has a 12 month low of $167.06 and a 12 month high of $244.32.

Martin Marietta Materials (NYSE:MLM) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, August 1st. The construction company reported $2.25 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $2.38 by $0.13. Martin Marietta Materials had a return on equity of 10.32% and a net margin of 10.91%. The business had revenue of $996.30 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.01 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $1.90 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was up 8.8% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts forecast that Martin Marietta Materials will post $7.14 earnings per share for the current year.

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In related news, SVP Donald A. Mccunniff sold 1,391 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, May 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $240.17, for a total value of $334,076.47. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 19,858 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,769,295.86. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, CFO Anne H. Lloyd sold 6,472 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, May 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $238.73, for a total transaction of $1,545,060.56. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief financial officer now directly owns 69,941 shares in the company, valued at approximately $16,697,014.93. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders sold 18,121 shares of company stock valued at $4,332,440. 8.45% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. AQR Capital Management LLC boosted its position in shares of Martin Marietta Materials by 9.0% in the fourth quarter. AQR Capital Management LLC now owns 8,211 shares of the construction company’s stock valued at $1,819,000 after buying an additional 681 shares during the last quarter. Kentucky Retirement Systems acquired a new position in shares of Martin Marietta Materials during the fourth quarter valued at $1,020,000. Kentucky Retirement Systems Insurance Trust Fund acquired a new position in shares of Martin Marietta Materials during the fourth quarter valued at $455,000. Renaissance Investment Group LLC acquired a new position in shares of Martin Marietta Materials during the first quarter valued at $1,582,000. Finally, Chevy Chase Trust Holdings Inc. boosted its position in shares of Martin Marietta Materials by 2.3% in the first quarter. Chevy Chase Trust Holdings Inc. now owns 57,894 shares of the construction company’s stock valued at $12,635,000 after buying an additional 1,278 shares during the last quarter. 96.66% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Martin Marietta Materials

Martin Marietta Materials, Inc is a supplier of aggregates products (crushed stone, sand, and gravel) used for the construction of infrastructure, nonresidential, and residential projects. Aggregates products are also used for railroad ballast and in agricultural, utility and environmental applications.

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