Zacks Investment Research Downgrades Sterling Construction (NASDAQ:STRL) to Sell

Sterling Construction (NASDAQ:STRL) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note issued on Saturday, March 10th.

According to Zacks, “Sterling Construction Company, Inc. is a holding company which has historically operated as a wholesale distributor to the automotive aftermarket and construction through two subsidiaries, Steel City Products and Dowling’s Fleet Service. “

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A number of other equities analysts also recently commented on STRL. BidaskClub downgraded shares of Sterling Construction from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Wednesday, January 10th. ValuEngine downgraded shares of Sterling Construction from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, March 7th. Finally, TheStreet cut shares of Sterling Construction from a “b-” rating to a “c” rating in a research report on Monday, January 22nd. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, one has assigned a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $17.00.

Shares of NASDAQ STRL traded up $0.19 during trading hours on Friday, hitting $11.49. 156,562 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 276,558. The company has a current ratio of 1.53, a quick ratio of 1.50 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.59. Sterling Construction has a one year low of $8.54 and a one year high of $18.90. The company has a market cap of $297.92, a P/E ratio of 20.89, a P/E/G ratio of 1.11 and a beta of 0.41.

Sterling Construction (NASDAQ:STRL) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Monday, March 5th. The construction company reported $0.11 earnings per share for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.13 by ($0.02). The company had revenue of $253.90 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $221.53 million. Sterling Construction had a net margin of 1.21% and a return on equity of 10.76%. Sterling Construction’s revenue for the quarter was up 50.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the company earned ($0.25) earnings per share. equities research analysts forecast that Sterling Construction will post 0.91 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In related news, COO Con L. Wadsworth acquired 8,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, March 8th. The stock was purchased at an average price of $12.43 per share, for a total transaction of $99,440.00. Following the transaction, the chief operating officer now owns 68,670 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $853,568.10. The acquisition was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Company insiders own 2.20% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. NY bought a new position in shares of Sterling Construction in the 4th quarter valued at about $145,000. Voya Investment Management LLC bought a new position in Sterling Construction during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $144,000. MetLife Investment Advisors LLC bought a new position in Sterling Construction during the 4th quarter worth approximately $216,000. Virtu Financial LLC bought a new position in Sterling Construction during the 4th quarter worth approximately $228,000. Finally, Macquarie Group Ltd. bought a new position in Sterling Construction during the 3rd quarter worth approximately $214,000. 74.98% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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Sterling Construction Company Profile

Sterling Construction Company, Inc, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a heavy civil and residential construction company in Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Nevada, Texas, Utah, and other states in the United States. The company's Heavy Civil Construction segment undertakes heavy civil construction projects, including highways, roads, bridges, airfields, ports, light rail, water, wastewater and storm drainage systems, foundations for multi-family homes, commercial concrete projects, and parking structures.

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