Vulcan Materials Sees Unusually High Options Volume (NYSE:VMC)

Vulcan Materials (NYSE:VMC) was the recipient of unusually large options trading activity on Tuesday. Investors purchased 3,706 put options on the company. This represents an increase of approximately 1,491% compared to the average volume of 233 put options.

A number of equities analysts have weighed in on VMC shares. Goldman Sachs Group raised shares of Vulcan Materials from a “buy” rating to a “conviction-buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, March 6th. Barclays reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $137.00 price target on shares of Vulcan Materials in a research note on Sunday, May 5th. Jefferies Financial Group increased their price target on shares of Vulcan Materials to $133.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, February 15th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. started coverage on shares of Vulcan Materials in a research note on Thursday, March 21st. They set an “overweight” rating and a $135.00 price target on the stock. Finally, Deutsche Bank increased their price target on shares of Vulcan Materials to $125.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, February 15th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating, ten have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. Vulcan Materials presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $126.62.

Shares of VMC stock opened at $130.79 on Thursday. Vulcan Materials has a 52 week low of $82.52 and a 52 week high of $136.45. The company has a current ratio of 1.64, a quick ratio of 0.99 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.61. The firm has a market capitalization of $17.86 billion, a PE ratio of 32.29, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.59 and a beta of 0.90.

Vulcan Materials (NYSE:VMC) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, May 2nd. The construction company reported $0.46 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.33 by $0.13. Vulcan Materials had a net margin of 11.63% and a return on equity of 10.60%. The business had revenue of $996.50 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $915.68 million. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $0.44 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 16.6% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts expect that Vulcan Materials will post 4.82 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, June 7th. Stockholders of record on Friday, May 24th were paid a $0.31 dividend. This represents a $1.24 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.95%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, May 23rd. Vulcan Materials’s dividend payout ratio is presently 30.62%.

In other Vulcan Materials news, VP Randy L. Pigg sold 1,754 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, June 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $134.96, for a total transaction of $236,719.84. Following the transaction, the vice president now owns 3,034 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $409,468.64. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, insider Michael R. Mills sold 1,326 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, June 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $136.05, for a total transaction of $180,402.30. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 51,713 shares in the company, valued at approximately $7,035,553.65. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.79% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of VMC. BlackRock Inc. raised its stake in shares of Vulcan Materials by 21.8% in the 1st quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 10,405,781 shares of the construction company’s stock valued at $1,232,045,000 after acquiring an additional 1,864,819 shares during the period. Egerton Capital UK LLP raised its stake in shares of Vulcan Materials by 45.3% in the 1st quarter. Egerton Capital UK LLP now owns 4,236,189 shares of the construction company’s stock valued at $501,565,000 after acquiring an additional 1,320,882 shares during the period. Norges Bank purchased a new position in shares of Vulcan Materials in the 4th quarter valued at $91,820,000. FMR LLC raised its stake in shares of Vulcan Materials by 800.7% in the 4th quarter. FMR LLC now owns 975,983 shares of the construction company’s stock valued at $96,428,000 after acquiring an additional 867,625 shares during the period. Finally, Lazard Asset Management LLC raised its stake in shares of Vulcan Materials by 19.5% in the 1st quarter. Lazard Asset Management LLC now owns 4,387,024 shares of the construction company’s stock valued at $519,423,000 after acquiring an additional 714,979 shares during the period. 95.83% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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About Vulcan Materials

Vulcan Materials Company produces and supplies construction aggregates, asphalt mix, and ready-mixed concrete primarily in the United States. It operates through four segments: Aggregates, Asphalt, Concrete, and Calcium. The Aggregates segment provides crushed stone, sand and gravel, sand, and other aggregates; and related products and services for use in the construction and maintenance of highways, streets, and other public works, as well as in the construction of housing and commercial, industrial, and other nonresidential facilities.

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