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Martin Marietta stock rises on 2018 optimism

"By nearly all meaningful measures, 2017 was an extraordinary year for Martin Marietta,” said chief executive Ward Nye
building site
Fourth quarter results beat expectations

Martin Marietta Materials In's (NYSE:MLM) stock was on the front foot ahead of Tuesday’s open after the release of positive fourth quarter results.

The building materials group reported a US$377.2mln quarterly profit which equates to US$5.95 per share, up significantly from US$98.9mln and US$1.55 from the same period in the year before.

2017 extraordinary year

It also significantly surpasses analysts' expectations for around US$89mln or US$1.40 per share.

"By nearly all meaningful measures, 2017 was an extraordinary year for Martin Marietta,” said chief executive Ward Nye.

“Among our accomplishments are two significant milestones - the best safety performance in our history and EBITDA exceeding US$1bln.

“We also delivered record revenues, profitability and earnings per diluted share for both the fourth quarter and full year, building on the momentum created by record performance in prior years.”

Looking ahead, the company is also now more confident in its guidance for 2018. It described itself as “optimistic” with regards to both the near-term and long-term outlook.

The company forecasts 2018 revenue of between US$4.16bn and US$4.36bn, while the profit forecast is pitched at US$490mln to US$500mln.

Nye added: "Looking ahead to 2018, the fundamental drivers for broad-based construction activity support our optimism that we will continue to benefit from a steady multi-year cyclical recovery across our geographic footprint.”

“Our leading positions in many of the nation's most attractive and vibrant markets should allow us to capitalize on anticipated increased demand for infrastructure projects and private-sector construction activity in 2018 and beyond.”

On Wall Street, the stock was up US$4.24 or 2% trading hands at US$217.

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March 15 2018

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