Martin Marietta Materials (MLM): Today's Featured Materials & Construction Laggard

Martin Marietta Materials ( MLM) pushed the Materials & Construction industry lower today making it today's featured Materials & Construction laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day up 1.5%. By the end of trading, Martin Marietta Materials fell $3.28 (-4%) to $78.27 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 967,638 shares of Martin Marietta Materials exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 555,700 shares. The stock ranged in price between $76.92-$82.79 after having opened the day at $82.06 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $81.55. Other company's within the Materials & Construction industry that declined today were: China Advanced Construction Materials Group ( CADC), down 18.8%, Vulcan Materials Company ( VMC), down 10.3%, Energy Solutions ( ES), down 7.1%, and Trex Company ( TREX), down 4.1%.

Martin Marietta Materials, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, engages in the production and sale of aggregates for the construction industry primarily in the United States, Canada, the Bahamas, and the Caribbean Islands. Martin Marietta Materials has a market cap of $3.75 billion and is part of the industrial goods sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 65.5, above the average materials & construction industry P/E ratio of 60.2 and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 8.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are three analysts that rate Martin Marietta Materials a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 10 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Martin Marietta Materials as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and solid stock price performance. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and poor profit margins.

On the positive front, PulteGroup ( PHM), up 18.4%, Meritage Homes Corporation ( MTH), up 12.8%, Patrick Industries ( PATK), up 8.3%, and M.D.C. Holdings ( MDC), up 6.5%, were all gainers within the materials & construction industry with Waste Management ( WM) being today's featured materials & construction industry leader.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the materials & construction industry could consider SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF ( XHB) while those bearish on the materials & construction industry could consider ProShares Short Basic Materials Fd ( SBM).