Publicly traded companies report positive trends

by George H. Reddin

| Published on April 1, 2014

 

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After a significant wave of activity last month, there is little to report this month. At the same time, the news from the sector is positive, with a strong showing by many of the publicly traded companies for the fourth quarter and year as a whole. Additionally, highway transportation financing received a boost from President Obama, which should give funding efforts some increased momentum.

Recent transactions

U.S. Concrete, Inc., through its wholly owned subsidiary, Ingram Concrete, LLC, completed the acquisition of Young Ready-Mix, Inc., a single-site, ready-mix concrete producer in Brady, Texas.

 Other news

The news from the publicly traded companies has been positive for performance in 2013 and expectations for 2014:

• CRH reported a 2-percent increase in like-for-like sales in the Americas during 2013. EBITDA was up 10 percent.

• Eagle Materials reported record cement sales in the third quarter at more than 1.1 million tons and a 39-percent increase in revenues at $228.8 million.

• Vulcan Materials reported revenue in the fourth quarter of $680.3 million, an increase of 11.8 percent from the prior-year quarter. Adjusted EBITDA (excluding gain on sale of real estate) was $129 million, up 43.3 percent from the prior-year quarter.

• Cemex reported a 4-percent increase in sales during the fourth quarter of 2013 to approximately $3.9 billion and an increase of 2 percent for the year to $15.2 billion. EBITDA increased by 4 percent during the fourth quarter to $642 million and increased by 1 percent for the year to $2.6 billion. Cemex’s operations in the United States reported net sales of $819 million in the fourth quarter of 2013, up by 8 percent from the same period in 2012. Operating EBITDA increased to $77 million in the quarter, versus $13 million in the same quarter of 2012.

• Titan reported a 4-percent increase in sales in 2013 and rose to $1.64 billion. EBITDA rose by 0.1 percent to $272 million. This is the first time the construction materials group has reported improved operating results in seven years. In North America, Titan’s sales rose by 11 percent to $570 million, and its operating profit rose to $44.4 million.

President Obama has called for a $302 billion, four-year transportation proposal that would increase and stabilize financing for the Highway Trust Fund. The chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, Dave Camp (R-Mich.), submitted a draft of legislation for tax reform. In addition to several measures designed to simplify the tax code, the Tax Reform Act of 2014 allocates $126.65 billion to the Highway Trust Fund. While this

George H. Reddin

George H. Reddin

legislation is not expected to pass in its entirety, the noise level on passing a transportation bill is heating up, which bodes well for the construction materials sector.

George H. Reddin is a principal in FMI’s Investment Banking practice. He can be reached at 919-785-9286 or at greddin@fminet.com.

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