NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Shares of these industrial stocks reached 52-week highs on Wednesday: Watsco (WSO), RSC Holdings (RSC), Eagle Materials (EXP), Applied Industrial Technologies (AIT) and Kennametal (KMT).
These stocks hit new highs on the same day that homebuilder confidence rose for the fifth straight month. The National Association of Housing Builders market index came in at 29 in February, which topped estimates and exceeded January's reading of 25.
The heating, air conditioning and refrigeration equipment company reported fourth-quarter earnings of $13 million, or 39 cents a share, on Wednesday. The performance was an increase from year-ago earnings of $10 million, or 31 cents. Analysts, on average, expected a profit of 35 cents a share."We expect a better HVAC market in 2012 as price/mix appears to have normalized and Watsco should have success with several company-specific growth initiatives," William Blair analysts wrote following the report. Shares of Watsco hit a 52-week high of $74.13 on Wednesday. The stock's 52-week low of $50.45 was set on Oct. 4. Watsco shares trade at a forward price-to-earnings ratio of 20.1X; the average for building materials and fixtures companies is 39.3X. For comparison, Lennox International (LII) has a lower forward P/E of 12.7X and Martin Marietta's (MLM) forward P/E is 12.7X. Seven of the 12 analysts who cover Watsco rate it a buy. Three are at hold and the other two are at sell. TheStreet Ratings gives Watsco a B+ grade with a buy rating and has a $82.44 price target on the shares. The stock has risen 12.05% year to date.
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