Higher Pricing to Aid Martin Marietta’s (MLM) Q2 Earnings – July 27, 2021

Martin Marietta Materials, Inc. (MLM Free Report) is scheduled to report second-quarter 2021 results on Jul 29, before the opening bell.

In the last reported quarter, the company’s earnings and revenues (products and services) topped the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 108% and 1.8%, respectively. On a year-over-year basis, earnings of this aggregates producer grew 153.7% and products and services revenues rose 3.5%. Total quarterly revenues (including Product and Services, and Freight revenues) came in at $982.4million, up 2.5% from the year-ago figure.

Martin Marietta’s earnings topped the consensus mark in all the last four quarters, with the average being 44.2%.

Trend in Estimate Revision

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for second-quarter earnings has decreased to $3.91 from $3.95 per share over the past seven days. Nonetheless, the estimated figure suggests a 12% increase from $3.49 per share reported in the year-ago period. The consensus mark for revenues is pegged at $1.29 billion, which calls for 8.8% growth from the prior-year reported figure.

Factors to Note

Martin Marietta’s earnings and revenues are expected to have witnessed year-over-year growth in the second quarter.

Infrastructure construction — particularly for aggregates intensive highways, roads and streets — is expected to have remained resilient in the quarter, as contractors advanced projects that have been awarded and funded. Overall, strengthening of the housing market and improvements in the non-residential market are expected to have driven demand. Also, resilient pricing — given growth in all product lines — are expected to have supported growth.

The company’s business and earnings have been sensitive to changes in construction spending, particularly housing and public construction in Texas, Colorado, North Carolina, Georgia, Florida as well as Iowa. Higher spending from a number of states that it serves is likely to have aided the company’s revenues.

Similar to other aggregates and cement producers, Martin Marietta is expected to have witnessed weather-related woes (wet weather during the spring season) in the second quarter, primarily in Texas and Colorado. Also, inflation from hydrocarbon, insurance and labor may have added to the negatives. Again, higher operating costs — particularly in cement (higher fixed costs) — may have been a risk.

Overall, despite mixed volumes, pricing (strongest in aggregates) is likely to have supported its margins. Higher pricing in upstream aggregates and cement businesses as well as disciplined cost management throughout the business are likely to aid quarterly results. Improving visibility in nonresidential construction and strong residential construction are likely to have been positives.

Other Projections

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the Building Material segment revenues — which comprises 95% of total revenues — is pegged at $1,354 million, implying 11.3% growth from a year ago.

The consensus estimate for Magnesia Specialties revenues is currently pegged at $62 million. This suggests an increase from $54 million in the prior-year quarter.

What the Zacks Model Unveils

Our proven model does not conclusively predict an earnings beat for Martin Marietta this time around. That is because a stock needs to have both a positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), 2 (Buy) or 3 (Hold) for this to happen. Unfortunately, that is not the case here, as you will see below.

Earnings ESP: The company has an Earnings ESP of -1.26%. You can uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they’re reported with our Earnings ESP Filter.

Zacks Rank: Currently, Martin Marietta carries a Zacks Rank #3.

You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Stocks With Favorable Combination

Here are some companies in the Zacks Construction sector, which according to our model have the right combination of elements to post an earnings beat in their respective quarters to be reported.

Eagle Materials Inc. (EXP Free Report) has an Earnings ESP of +0.19% and a Zacks Rank #3.

ChampionX Corporation (CHX Free Report) has an Earnings ESP of +10.00% and holds a Zacks Rank #3.

United Rentals, Inc. (URI Free Report) has an Earnings ESP of +4.89% and a Zacks Rank #3.

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