5 Stocks Pushing The Materials & Construction Industry Higher

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model

All three major indices are trading down today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading down 28 points (-0.2%) at 13,217 as of Thursday, Dec. 13, 2012, 12:05 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,125 issues advancing vs. 1,742 declining with 157 unchanged.

The Materials & Construction industry currently sits down 0.2% versus the S&P 500, which is down 0.3%. A company within the industry that fell today was James Hardie Industries ( JHX), up 1.7%.

TheStreet Ratings group would like to highlight 5 stocks pushing the industry higher today:

5. Vulcan Materials Company ( VMC) is one of the companies pushing the Materials & Construction industry higher today. As of noon trading, Vulcan Materials Company is up $0.29 (0.6%) to $51.59 on light volume Thus far, 213,908 shares of Vulcan Materials Company exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 692,500 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $51.22-$51.98 after having opened the day at $51.41 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $51.30.

Vulcan Materials Company engages in the production and sale of construction aggregates, as well as asphalt mix, ready-mixed concrete, and cement primarily in the United States. The company operates in four segments: Aggregates, Concrete, Asphalt Mix, and Cement. Vulcan Materials Company has a market cap of $6.8 billion and is part of the industrial goods sector. Shares are up 32.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 4 analysts that rate Vulcan Materials Company a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 8 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Vulcan Materials Company as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and notable return on equity. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including unimpressive growth in net income, weak operating cash flow and poor profit margins. Get the full Vulcan Materials Company Ratings Report now.

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4. As of noon trading, Chicago Bridge & Iron Company ( CBI) is up $0.67 (1.6%) to $42.01 on heavy volume Thus far, 1.2 million shares of Chicago Bridge & Iron Company exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.3 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $41.37-$42.27 after having opened the day at $41.53 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $41.34.

Chicago Bridge & Iron Company N.V. provides conceptual design, technology, engineering, procurement, fabrication, construction, and commissioning services to energy and natural resource industries worldwide. Chicago Bridge & Iron Company has a market cap of $4.1 billion and is part of the industrial goods sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 14.6, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 11.0% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 9 analysts that rate Chicago Bridge & Iron Company a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 3 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Chicago Bridge & Iron Company as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, growth in earnings per share, notable return on equity, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and increase in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow. Get the full Chicago Bridge & Iron Company Ratings Report now.

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3. As of noon trading, USG ( USG) is up $0.32 (1.2%) to $26.36 on light volume Thus far, 573,273 shares of USG exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.2 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $25.90-$26.70 after having opened the day at $26.00 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $26.04.

USG Corporation, through its subsidiaries, engages in the manufacture and distribution of building materials worldwide. USG has a market cap of $2.7 billion and is part of the industrial goods sector. Shares are up 150.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 5 analysts that rate USG a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 6 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates USG as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, good cash flow from operations and solid stock price performance. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including disappointing return on equity, generally higher debt management risk and poor profit margins. Get the full USG Ratings Report now.

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2. As of noon trading, Owens Corning Incorporated ( OC) is up $0.59 (1.7%) to $35.68 on light volume Thus far, 573,679 shares of Owens Corning Incorporated exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.9 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $35.08-$35.98 after having opened the day at $35.15 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $35.09.

Owens Corning engages in the provision of composite and building materials systems worldwide. It operates in two segments, Composites and Building Materials. Owens Corning Incorporated has a market cap of $4.0 billion and is part of the industrial goods sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 47.6, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 19.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 7 analysts that rate Owens Corning Incorporated a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Owens Corning Incorporated as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its reasonable valuation levels, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat weak growth in earnings per share. Get the full Owens Corning Incorporated Ratings Report now.

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1. As of noon trading, PulteGroup ( PHM) is up $0.26 (1.5%) to $17.37 on light volume Thus far, 3.0 million shares of PulteGroup exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 13.1 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $16.97-$17.50 after having opened the day at $17.06 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $17.11.

PulteGroup, Inc., through its subsidiaries, engages in homebuilding and financial services businesses primarily in the United States. PulteGroup has a market cap of $6.4 billion and is part of the industrial goods sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 39.2, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 161.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 7 analysts that rate PulteGroup a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 6 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates PulteGroup as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth and compelling growth in net income. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including generally higher debt management risk, premium valuation and poor profit margins. Get the full PulteGroup Ratings Report now.

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If you are interested in one of these 5 stocks, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the materials & construction industry could consider SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF ( XHB) while those bearish on the materials & construction industry could consider ProShares Short Basic Materials Fd ( SBM).

A reminder about TheStreet Ratings group: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.

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