Martin Marietta Materials profit up, earnings down

Martin Marietta Materials Tuesday reported its third-quarter profit soared and revenue grew to beat analyst forecasts, helped by the sale of its California cement business, but earnings missed expectations.

Shares were down 6.6% in midday trading.

Revenue was dented in the previous quarter by record rainfall that significantly hurt results in the Texas market. Pent-up demand padded the most recent quarter’s results.

The Raleigh, NC, manufacturing company, which was forced to consolidate business units when sales plunged 40% during the recession, has been benefiting from the recovering economy and getting a boost from its acquisition of Texas Industries Inc.

The company also said it completed the sale of its California cement business for $420 million.

Chief executive Ward Nye said the company expects to use the proceeds from the sale to repurchase additional shares of stock. During the third quarter Martin Marietta repurchased 917,000 shares for $158 million.

Over all, Martin Marietta posted a profit of $117.5 million, or $1.75 a share, compared with a year-earlier profit of $53.7 million, or 80 cents a share. Adjusted earnings were $2.04. Revenue grew 7.9% to $1.08 billion.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had expected adjusted earnings of $2.15 a share on revenue of $1.05 billion.

Sales in the aggregates business rose to $1 billion from $917.9 million a year earlier.


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