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Martin Marietta (MLM) Buys CRH's Sand & Gravel Division

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Martin Marietta Materials, Inc. (MLM - Free Report) acquired CRH America’s Mallard Sand & Gravel business in Omaha, which is in line with the strategy to strengthen the aggregates business.

CRH Americas is a leading supplier of aggregates, cement, asphalt, ready mixed concrete as well as paving and construction services in North America.

Buyout Benefits

With the inclusion of the business, Martin Marietta will acquire sand and gravel operations along with a permitted greenfield site. The company will also receive approximately 30 million tons of aggregates reserves.

Meanwhile, the addition of the Sand & Gravel business is expected to augment Martin Marietta’s business in the Midwest region.

Inorganic Drive Strong

Martin Marietta completed more than 85 minor acquisitions since its Initial Public Offering in 1994 through 2017. These deals have strengthened its position in the aggregates business. Notably, the company has acquired aggregates and related quarry locations from industry majors like Vulcan Materials, Lafarge North America and CEMEX, Inc.

In April 2018, Martin Marietta acquired Bluegrass Materials Company for $1.625 billion in cash. The addition of Bluegrass fortified Martin Marietta’s aggregates position in the high-growth regions of Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic. Bluegrass has a portfolio of more than 125 years of strategically-located, high-quality reserves across Georgia, South Carolina, Maryland, Kentucky and Tennessee.

Importantly, Martin Marietta completed the divestitures required to resolve all competition issues with respect to the acquisition of Bluegrass Materials acquisition. To that end, Martin Marietta sold its Forsyth aggregates quarry, located north of Atlanta on Apr 27, 2018 and Bluegrass’ Beaver Creek aggregates quarry in western Maryland on Jun 5, 2018.

Price Performance

Shares of Martin Marietta have outperformed its industry year to date. While the industry witnessed a 6.1% decline, Martin Marietta’s shares have gained 1.6%. Meanwhile, earnings estimates for the current and next year have moved up 8.1% and 7.5%, respectively, over the past 60 days, reflecting analysts’ optimism surrounding the stock’s earnings prospects.


Zacks Rank & Other Stocks to Consider

Martin Marietta carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

A few other top-ranked stocks in the same sector are Installed Building Products, Inc (IBP - Free Report) , PGT, Inc (PGTI - Free Report) and Patrick Industries, Inc (PATK - Free Report) . All three stocks sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Installed Building Products, PGT and Patrick Industries have a long-term earnings growth rate of 30%, 19.3% and 12.7%, respectively.

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