Martin Marietta Materials, stung by rising fuel costs and bad weather in late March, reported first quarter earnings today that missed Wall Street estimates.
The Raleigh company, which produces rock, gravel and other materials used to build roads, subdivisions and commercial buildings, had sales of $306.2 million for the quarter that ended March 31, up from $295.6 million in the same period in 2010.
The company reported a loss of 39 cents per share for the quarter, compared to a loss of 54 cents per share in the first quarter of 2010.
That was a wider loss than the 36 cents loss per share expected by Wall Street analysts who cover the company.
Much of Martin Marietta's business is tied to residential, commercial and government construction projects, which makes it a barometer of the broader economy.
The company’s fortunes are also heavily dependent on the weather.
Bad weather during the last two weeks of March – when many state Departments of Transportation initiate road projects – hurt sales in the first quarter, CEO Ward Nye said during a conference call with analysts.
“Part of what we have said forever is this is an outdoor sport, and when the weather does what it does in March and what it did in April, it has an affect on the business,” he said.