Eagle Materials Inc. reported financial results for the second quarter of fiscal 2024 ended Sept. 30, including record revenue of $622.2 million, up 3% and record net earnings of $150.6 million, up 8%
Revenue in the Heavy Materials sector, which includes Cement, Concrete and Aggregates, Joint Venture and intersegment Cement revenue, was $426.9 million, a 10% increase. Heavy Materials operating earnings were up 19% to $126.1 million. Both the increase in revenue and operating earnings were primarily attributable to higher Cement sales prices.
Cement revenue for the quarter, including Joint Venture and intersegment revenue, was up 13% to $360.8 million, and operating earnings were a record $121.4 million, up 23%. These increases reflect higher Cement net sales prices and the contribution of approximately $13 million of revenue from the recently acquired Stockton Terminal, which helped mitigate an overall decrease in sales volume.
The increase in operating earnings was partially offset by the impact of the step-up in inventory values related to the acquisition of the Stockton Terminal. The average net sales price for the quarter was up 15% to $151.99 per ton, reflecting Cement price increases implemented in January 2023 and a second round of price increases implemented in early July 2023.
Cement sales volume decreased 1% to 2.1 million tons. Excluding the recently acquired Stockton Terminal, Cement sales volume declined 5%, because of wet weather in several markets and extreme heat in our southern markets throughout the quarter.
Concrete and Aggregates revenue decreased 5% to $66.1 million, reflecting lower Concrete sales volume partially offset by higher Concrete pricing. Second quarter operating earnings declined 36% to $4.6 million, primarily reflecting lower Concrete sales volume and higher cost of materials.
Commenting on the second quarter results, Michael Haack, president and CEO said, “Market conditions for our construction materials remained resilient during the quarter, even as the Fed continued to raise interest rates and tighten money supply to contain inflation. Several factors helped offset the higher rates and supported demand for wallboard and cement, including limited housing supply, strong homebuyer demand, increasing infrastructure awards and significant investment in domestic manufacturing facilities.
“Against this backdrop, our businesses performed well. We generated record revenue of $622 million and record EPS of $4.26, and we expanded gross margins by 150 bps to 33.6%. Cash flow from operations was $172.4 million. We returned $86 million of cash to shareholders through share repurchases and dividends, while using our strong cashflow to strengthen our balance sheet: at Sept. 30, 2023, Eagle’s net debt was $1.1 billion, and our net adjusted leverage ratio (net debt to Adjusted EBITDA) was 1.3x. We also made progress on our strategic initiatives. We increased production and sales of Portland Limestone Cement, to more than 60% across our system, and we continued the integration of our recently acquired cement import terminal in Stockton, California.
Haack continued, “In our Heavy Materials business, as demand remained strong and our operations remained nearly sold-out, we implemented a second round of cement price increases in early July across half our markets and announced the next round of price increases for early January 2024. In our Light Materials sector, the backlog of housing construction supported resilient wallboard shipments and orders, but we recognize the significant increase in interest rates may have an impact on residential construction activity in the future. Nonetheless, we expect that our portfolio of businesses will remain well-positioned for the second half of fiscal 2024.”