Martin Marietta Materials revenue increased 18 percent in the third quarter as higher prices helped offset a decline in shipments of the Raleigh company's construction materials.
Revenue totaled $593 million, which beat the $566.2 million that Wall Street analysts had forecast. Net sales also increased 21 percent to $539.1 million.
Martin Marietta reported earnings per diluted share of 1.36 cents in the quarter, compared to $1.07 per share in the third quarter of 2011. The consensus among analysts who cover the company was earnings per share of $1.26.
Martin Marietta's stock was up 6 percent in early trading Tuesday.
Martin Marietta produces rock, gravel and other materials used to build roads, subdivisions and commercial buildings.
The company shipped 3.8 percent fewer materials in the quarter than it did during the same period in 2011, but pricing for the quarter was up 4.1 percent.
In a statement, CEO Ward Nye said construction activity during the quarter was delayed by the timing of the recent passage of a new two-year federal transportation bill that allocates $40 billion a year to road spending.
The bill was passed nine months into the fiscal year, meaning few projects were funded in the quarter and thus are likely to start in the first quarter of next year, Nye said.
About 55 percent of Martin Marietta’s sales are for federal and state infrastructure projects.
Martin Marietta now predicts high single-digit percentage gains in shipments for infrastructure projects next year, and double-digit gains in shipments for the residential market.
That prediction reflects the recent increase in new home construction in the U.S.