Business Briefs

Martin Marietta realigns '09 earnings forecast

Posted Updated

David Horn
, North Carolina News Network
Martin Marietta Materials, Inc. (NYSE: MLM) has trimmed its 2009 earnings forecast. The reduced earnings forecast comes even as the Raleigh-based company expects more business from federal stimulus funded infrastructure projects.

The stone materials company projects 2009 net earnings of between $2.70 AND $3.30 per diluted share. According to a statement released by the company, the need for the revised earnings is based on three primary factors: Weaker and slower-than-expected recovery of the general United States economy, a marked decrease in transportation infrastructure spending resulting from a decline in state revenues and a longer-than-expected delay in federal stimulus projects moving to the construction stage, and an adverse impact from weather in the first half of the year.

"While we have seen an increase in bidding activity for infrastructure projects and awarding of projects to successful bidders by a significant number of states, we now believe that 25% of projects will commence later in the year with most of the remainder coming in 2010," said Stephen P. Zelnak, Jr., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "The pace at which these projects have moved to the actual construction stage, to date, is slower than expected."

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