NEW DIRECTIONAL CALL PLAYS
Martin Marietta Materials - MLM - close: 154.67 change: +0.70
Stop Loss: 149.75
Target(s): To Be Determined
Current Option Gain/Loss: Unopened
Average Daily Volume = 809 thousand
Entry on May -- at $---.--
Listed on May 14, 2015
Time Frame: 8 to 12 weeks
New Positions: Yes, see below
Why We Like It:
The Dow Industrials delivered a strong day with a +191 point gain. It's on the verge of breaking out to a new all-time high. Unfortunately the industrials are lagging behind the other major indices with a mere +1.5% gain in 2015.
One industrial sector stock that is really outperforming its peers is MLM. Shares are also near all-time highs and MLM is up about +40% year to date.
According to the company, "Martin Marietta, an American-based company and a member of the S&P 500 Index, is a leading supplier of aggregates and heavy building materials, with operations spanning 32 states, Canada and the Caribbean. Dedicated teams at Martin Marietta supply the resources for the roads, sidewalks and foundations on which we live. Martin Marietta's Magnesia Specialties business provides a full range of magnesium oxide, magnesium hydroxide and dolomitic lime products."
You probably noticed the huge rally in MLM back in February. That was a reaction to its 2014 Q4 results. Earnings were above expectations and revenues soared +57% from a year ago to $856 million, which was also above analysts' estimates.
The company also announced a 20 million share stock buyback program back in February. Now 20 million shares may not sound like much but MLM only has 67.48 million shares outstanding.
The stock spent the following eight weeks slowly drifting lower. It finally found support in the $135.00 area.
Then suddenly MLM found its mojo again when the company reported its 2015 Q1 results on April 30th. The funny thing is MLM actually missed Wall Street estimates. Analysts were expecting a profit of $0.09-0.12 a share for the first quarter. MLM only delivered $0.07 but it was better than a loss of $0.47 a year ago. 2015 Q1 was the first time MLM had reported a profit in the first quarter since 2008.
MLM said revenues rose +61% from a year ago to $691.4 million. That too was below expectations but traders didn't care. Management said their margins improved 500 basis points. Business was strong enough they were able to raise prices +11%.
Here's an excerpt from the company's press release:
Ward Nye, Chairman, President and CEO of Martin Marietta, stated: "We are pleased to report improved margins and increased profitability, both considerably ahead of our internal plans, and a first-quarter profit for the first time since 2008. These quarterly results serve as a further validation of our success in executing on our strategic objectives, as well as our relentless commitment to operational excellence and cost discipline. Notably, we achieved volume growth and reported a double-digit pricing increase in our heritage aggregates product line despite severe late winter weather in many markets and significant rainfall in Texas. We view this volume and pricing momentum as an indication of a more construction-centric phase of economic recovery. Our first-quarter results and outlook for the full year have led us to increase our annual aggregates product line pricing guidance from an increase of 4% to 6% to an increase of 7% to 9% over 2014."
Shares of MLM soared on its Q1 report and now the stock has broken through resistance near $150.00. The point & figure chart is bullish and forecasting a long-term target of $221.00. The stock tested $150 as new support three days ago and looks poised to continue its climb.
We are suggesting a trigger to buy calls at $156.00.
Trigger @ $156.00
- Suggested Positions -
Buy the JUL $160 CALL (MLM150717C160) current ask $3.50
option price is a current quote and not a suggested entry price.
Entry disclaimer: To avoid an unfavorable entry point, we will not launch a new play if the stock gaps open more than $1.00 past our suggested entry point.
Option Format: symbol-year-month-day-call-strike