Martin Marietta shares up 6% after earnings report

Martin Marietta Materials shares rose 6 percent Tuesday after the company reported that revenues increased 11 percent in the first quarter.

Excluding one-time expenses, the Raleigh company posted a loss of 35 cents per share, compared to a loss of 61 cents per share in the first quarter of 2013. The consensus among Wall Street analysts who cover the company was a loss of 34 cents per share.

Revenue totaled $428.7 million, up from $383.9 million during the same period last year and above the $398.2 million forecast by analysts. Net sales totaled $379.7 million, up from $344.1 million.

Martin Marietta produces rock, gravel and other materials used to build roads, subdivisions and commercial buildings. The company shipped 8 percent more materials in the first quarter than it did during the same period in 2013, with shipments in March up 13 percent. Pricing for the quarter declined 1.3 percent.

Martin Marietta is forecasting that shipments will increase between 4 and 5 percent this year, with pricing up 3 to 5 percent.

“Looking ahead, we are encouraged by numerous macro-economic indicators, including employment growth, which suggests increased construction activity,” CEO Ward Nye said in a statement.

Martin Marietta announced in January that it is acquiring Texas Industries for $2.7 billion in a deal that will make the combined company the largest provider of rock, gravel and other construction materials in the country.

The company’s shares closed Tuesday at $124.37, up $7.48. The stock is up 24 percent this year.

Staff writer David Bracken