Mad Money

The stock signaling a great US economic recovery

Martin Marietta CEO: Comeback feels good

To get a real sense of how the economy is doing, Jim Cramer likes to look at companies that produce aggregate products for the construction industry. If a stock like Martin Marietta Materials can report a remarkably great quarter, than he considers that to be a great sign for the U.S. economy.

Martin Marietta makes crushed stone, sand, gravel, concrete, asphalt and cement for various types of infrastructures, both residential and commercial. It is now the No. 2 play in the U.S. and has major exposure to the Texas market after acquiring Texas Industries last year.

The company delivered an 8 cent earnings beat on an 86 cent basis, including revenues that rose 57 percent, year over year. Additionally, it also announced an enormous buyback of 20 million shares. The stock has soared to $137 from $119 in a single session, and closed even higher Thursday, at $142.

Could this be a sign that the U.S. economy will continue to be on the right track for the long term?

To find out, Cramer sat down with Martin Marietta Materials CEO Ward Nye.

George Clerk | Getty Images

"What we saw in volumes going from peak to trough in our heritage business, we went from 205 million tons to 125 million tons. Places like Atlanta saw 70 percent of the volume go away, and now we are seeing that turn," Nye said.

The CEO confirmed that the economy has made a dramatic turn, which has launched Martin Marietta into a No. 1 or 2 positions in 85 percent of the market. Part of the reason for the leading position stemmed from the timing of its strategic acquisition of Texas Industries.

"We tried to be countercyclical; we came back and did the deal with TXI somewhere near the bottom of the cycle," he said.

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Nye further explained that they are seeing economic recovery not just in the western portion of the U.S. but on the East Coast as well.

"You're seeing employment come back in very strong ways. It's been uneven over the last several years. The west has done much better than the east. But now we are looking at states in the southeast. In North Carolina, Georgia, Florida—economic and employment recovery are somewhere in the Top 5 or 6 in the country. When we see that type of movement, people are buying homes," said Nye.

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