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Shares of Vulcan Materials set to continue growth

I remain upbeat about the shares of Vulcan Materials, one of the US largest producers of construction aggregates, concrete and asphalt. The company’s financials for the first quarter of 2016 were decent. Revenues increased 7% y-o-y to $957 mn but missed consensus estimate of $1.01 bn. The results were hurt by below-trend shipment growth due to extremely wet weather and slower than expected large project starts. These factors impacted shipments in several key markets, particularly during May. Aggregates shipments (volumes) rose just 3% to 49 mn tons, while average selling price improved 7%. For the first half of 2016, however, aggregates shipments grew 9%, in line with management’s expectations. Adjusted EBITDA jumped 21.2% in the quarter, to $279.8 mn, and EBITDA margin expanded 340 basis points to 29.2%. Adjusted earnings per share surged 38.5% to 90 cents but also fell short of analysts’ average projection of $1.01. During the reported quarter, Vulcan returned $72 mn to shareholders through dividends and share repurchases.

Despite weaker than expected Q2 results, Vulcan’s management reiterated its full year 2016 guidance, noting that fundamentals in the sector remain strong. The company expects adjusted EBITDA at or near the upper end of the previously estimated range of $1-1.1 bn, which will be driven by an improvement in gross profit per ton at the Aggregates segment, higher earnings at the Non-Aggregates segments, and lower costs. Vulcan also expects Aggregates shipments to rise 8-9%, and average freight-adjusted aggregates pricing is projected to grow 7%.

Vulcan’s shares are testing $120 resistance level as well as 50-day moving average. I'd buy on breaking them, with medium-term target at $130.