Vulcan Materials Company Earnings: Loss Narrows

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component Vulcan Materials Company’s (NYSE:VMC) first quarter loss narrowed, beating estimates. Vulcan Materials is a producer of mainly crushed stone, sand and gravel, asphalt mix, concrete and cement.

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Vulcan Materials Company Earnings Cheat Sheet for the First Quarter

Results: Loss narrowed to $52.1 million (loss of 40 cents per diluted share) from $54.7 million (loss of 42 cents per share) in the same quarter a year earlier.

Revenue: Rose 10% to $535.9 million from the year-earlier quarter.

Actual vs. Wall St. Expectations: Vulcan Materials Company beat the mean analyst estimate of a loss of 44 cents per share. It beat the average revenue estimate of $517.8 million.

Quoting Management: Don James, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, stated, “Our aggregates business delivered another quarter of strong improvement and the non-aggregates businesses continued to make progress. These results reflect the continued recovery of our markets and the benefits of the Company’s powerful earnings leverage. In particular, higher aggregates shipments and lower unit cost of sales drove a 640 basis point improvement in Aggregates segment gross profit, as a percentage of segment revenues, and an 11 percent increase in cash earnings per ton. Demand for our products was solid during the quarter due primarily to public infrastructure projects and some recovery in private sector construction work. Results in the quarter were aided by favorable weather conditions. Our focus on improving earnings through price and cost leadership, and the continued execution of our Profit Enhancement Plan and Planned Asset Sales, position us to further benefit from a recovery in demand in 2012.”

Key Stats:

Revenue has now increased for three quarters in a row. In the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year, revenue rose 4.8% to $614.6 million while the figure rose 2.4% in the third quarter of the last fiscal year from the year earlier.

The company has beaten estiamtes for two quarters in a row. In the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year, it topped expectations with a loss of -14 cents versus a mean estimate of a loss of 37 cents per share.

Looking Forward: Analysts appear increasingly optimistic about the company’s results for the next quarter. The average estimate for the second quarter has moved up from one cent a share to 5 cents over the last ninety days. For the fiscal year, the average estimate has moved from a loss of 71 cents a share to a loss of 33 cents over the last ninety days.

(Company fundamentals provided by Xignite Financials. Earnings estimates provided by Zacks)

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