Investors note strong 2016 start for Martin Marietta, Vulcan Materials

Sources: CP staff; Martin Marietta Materials, Raleigh, N.C.; Vulcan Materials Co., Birmingham, Ala.

In the wake of solid first quarter earnings and bullish shipment and pricing outlook for the remainder of 2016, Martin Marietta and Vulcan Materials saw their New York Stock Exchange-traded shares close the first week of May approaching record highs.

Comparing 2016 and 2015 Q1 numbers, Martin Marietta reports these year-over-year shipment and pricing increases, by product: ready mixed concrete, 31 percent and 11.7 percent; cement, 13.8 percent and 3.6 percent; and aggregates, 13.3 percent and 8 percent. Among key pricing metrics noted in its 2016 Q1 earnings report are these average selling prices per ton, measured against prior year levels: aggregates, $13.04, up 8.1 percent; cement, $100.04, up 3.6 percent. Martin Marietta’s $734 million in sales and $145 million in gross profit for 2016 Q1 represent 16 percent and 95 percent gains over the same period the prior year.

“First-quarter results were supported by several years of slow, but steady job growth, and evident in the double-digit aggregates product line volume growth, strong price increases and improved profitability of both our aggregates-related downstream businesses and Cement business,” says Martin Marietta CEO Ward Nye. “We are especially pleased to report a record first quarter even as we are only in the early-stage of recovery in broadly-based construction activity. Our results are indicative of strict adherence to maintaining a relentless strategic and tactical focus on our leading operating positions in economically-diverse, high-growth geographies, and improving market conditions throughout the vast majority of our business.”

Vulcan Materials, which derives considerably less revenue from integrated businesses than Martin Marietta, reports these year-over-year 2016 Q1 gains: aggregates shipments and (freight-adjusted pricing) up 17 percent and 9.5 percent; and, ready mixed concrete sales and pricing up 13 percent and 4 percent. Among key pricing metrics, the producer notes these 2016 and 2015 Q1 average selling prices: aggregates (freight-adjusted) $12.42/ton, up from $11.34/ton; and ready mixed concrete, $108.58/yd. up from $104.25/yd. Net sales and gross profit of $755 million and $165 million in 2016 Q1 represent 20 percent and 112 percent gains over 2015 Q1.

“The recovery in construction activity continues across most of our markets and strong first quarter volume growth—along with the growth we’ve seen over the past several quarters—reflects that sustained strengthening in demand,” notes Vulcan CEO Tom Hill. “Several factors contributed to the above-trend volume growth seen in the first quarter, including relatively favorable weather conditions in certain of our markets, customers’ success in winning and executing new project work, incremental improvements in public construction spending, and an additional shipping day in the quarter due to Leap Year.”