Eagle Materials The building materials company reported third-quarter earnings of $2.9 million, or 7 cents a share, earlier this month. The performance was down from a year-ago profit of $5.5 million, or 13 cents a share. "We think a positive story is forming into 2012 around pricing in its wallboard business, and we are raising our FY12 EPS estimate from $0.40 to $0.63 and our FY13 estimate from $0.84 to $1.30, largely reflecting incremental profits from wallboard," KeyBanc Capital Markets analysts wrote in a Feb. 7 report. Shares of Eagle Materials hit a 52-week high Wednesday of $33.98. The stock's 52-week low of $15.36 was set on Sept. 22. Eagle Materials has a forward P/E of 27.2X; the average among building materials and fixtures companies is 44.2X. For comparison, both Simpson Manufacturing ( SSD) and Acuity Brands ( AYI) have lower forward P/Es of 20.2X and 15.9X respectively. Eleven of the 15 analysts who cover Eagle Materials rate it a hold. Three analysts have a buy rating on the stock and one is at sell. TheStreet Ratings gives Eagle Materials a C+ grade and hold rating. The stock has increased 29.54% year to date.
Kennametal The engineered components supplier reported second-quarter earnings of $73.7 million, or 92 cents a share, last month. The performance was an improvement from year-ago earnings of $43.5 million, or 53 cents a share. "While one month does not indicate a trend, we are encouraged by the solid start to the new year with sales for the month of January estimated being up 10% on a tough y/y comp (Jan 2011 est. up 30% y/y)," Jefferies analysts wrote in a report Tuesday. "We anticipated the order rate to moderate due to tougher comparisons as well as look for some fx headwind as the year progresses." Shares of Kennametal hit a 52-week high of $46.66 on Wednesday. The stock's 52-week low of $29.30 was set on Oct. 4. Kennametal has a forward P/E of 10.7X; the average for industrial machinery is 15.2X. For comparison, Flowserve ( FLS) and Donaldson ( DCI) both have higher forward P/Es of 13.5X and 20.4X respectively. Nine of the 14 analysts who cover the company have buy ratings on the stock. Four analysts rate it at hold and one is at sell. TheStreet Ratings gives Kennametal a B+ grade with a buy rating and has a $54.50 price target on the shares. The stock has increased 24.07% year to date.