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

Martin Marietta Materials ( MLM) pushed the Materials & Construction industry higher today making it today's featured materials & construction winner. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.1%. By the end of trading, Martin Marietta Materials rose 92 cents (1.2%) to $78.59 on light volume. Throughout the day, 391,705 shares of Martin Marietta Materials exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 547,800 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $77.29-$78.86 after having opened the day at $77.29 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $77.67. Other companies within the Materials & Construction industry that increased today were: Energy Solutions ( ES), up 14.8%, Gafisa ( GFA), up 14.4%, Xinyuan Real Estate ( XIN), up 13.9%, and China Advanced Construction Materials Group ( CADC), up 9.3%.

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 $3.52 billion and is part of the industrial goods sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 61.4, above the average materials & construction industry P/E ratio of 55.6 and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 1.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. 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 growth in earnings per share. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including disappointing return on equity, weak operating cash flow and poor profit margins.

On the negative front, Casella Waste Systems ( CWST), down 8.8%, India Globalization Capital ( IGC), down 4.7%, Patrick Industries ( PATK), down 4.7%, and Caesarstone Sdot-Yam ( CSTE), down 4.2%, were all laggards within the materials & construction industry with Chicago Bridge & Iron Company ( CBI) being today's materials & construction industry laggard.

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).