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What to Expect From Martin Marietta (MLM) in Q3 Earnings?

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Martin Marietta Materials, Inc. (MLM - Free Report) is slated to report third-quarter 2018 results on Nov 6, before the opening bell. In the last reported quarter, the company’s earnings surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 15.3%. In fact, earnings of Martin Marietta, which shares space in the Zacks Concrete and Aggregates industry with Vulcan Materials Company (VMC - Free Report) , Eagle Materials Inc. (EXP - Free Report) and Summit Materials, Inc. (SUM - Free Report) , topped expectations in two of the last four quarters, with the average being 1.9%.

How are Estimates Faring?

Let’s take a look at the estimate revision trend in order to get a clear picture of what analysts are thinking about the company prior to the earnings release. For the quarter to be reported, the Zacks Consensus Estimate is pegged at $2.69, trending downward from $3.35 over the past 30 days. Nonetheless, this reflects a gain of 12.6% from $2.39 reported in the year-ago quarter. Revenues are expected to be $1.13 billion, up 10.6% year over year.

Factors That Might Influence Q3 Results

The company is expected to record solid third-quarter 2018 results, driven by higher shipments, pricing improvements and benefits from growth initiatives. Martin Marietta’s underlying product demand and customer backlogs remain solid across its markets. Meanwhile, the company registered notable growth in Texas, North Carolina, Georgia and Iowa in the last reported quarter. Moreover, its cement operations gained from strong demand as well as a tight supply environment, resulting in double-digit volume growth and a 680-basis-point improvement in product gross margin in the second quarter.

Overall, the company is expected to experience higher demand in the to-be-reported quarter. An uptick in public construction activity is expected to provide much support to the company’s top line. Sustained growth in construction activity drives demand for aggregates and cement businesses, thereby helping it boost profitability. However, slow residential construction activity for the time being can prove to be a drag on its results. Again, string of acquisitions or divestitures carried out earlier is expected to provide some cushion to its revenues and earnings.

However, Hurricane Florence and abnormally wet weather in Texas are expected to hurt Martin Marietta’s third-quarter results to some extent. Notably, in September, Texas saw record rainfall in key markets such as Dallas, San Antonio and Houston, which will likely have a negative impact on its operations.

What Our Model Indicates

Our proven model does not show that Martin Marietta is likely to beat earnings estimates in the to-be-reported quarter. A stock needs to have both a positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), 2 (Buy) or 3 (Hold) for this to happen. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

You may uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they’re reported with our Earnings ESP Filter.

Martin Marietta currently has a Zacks Rank #3 and an Earnings ESP of 0.00%, making surprise prediction difficult.

Note that we caution against stocks with a Zacks Rank #4 or 5 (Sell rated) going into the earnings announcement, especially when the company is witnessing negative estimate revisions.

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