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 23 points (-0.2%) at 13,146 as of Friday, Dec. 14, 2012, 11:50 AM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,344 issues advancing vs. 1,517 declining with 152 unchanged.

The Materials & Construction industry currently sits up 0.1% versus the S&P 500, which is down 0.3%. On the negative front, top decliners within the industry include MasTec ( MTZ), down 1.0%, NVR ( NVR), down 1.4%, James Hardie Industries ( JHX), down 1.6%, Foster Wheeler ( FWLT), down 1.3% and PulteGroup ( PHM), down 0.7%.

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

5. Granite Construction ( GVA) is one of the companies pushing the Materials & Construction industry higher today. As of noon trading, Granite Construction is up $0.76 (2.4%) to $32.40 on average volume Thus far, 114,077 shares of Granite Construction exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 230,700 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $31.53-$32.63 after having opened the day at $31.56 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $31.64.

Granite Construction Incorporated, through its subsidiaries, operates as a heavy civil contractor and a construction materials producer for public and private sector clients in the United States. Granite Construction has a market cap of $1.2 billion and is part of the industrial goods sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 27.0, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 33.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 3 analysts that rate Granite Construction a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 3 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Granite Construction as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, good cash flow from operations, solid stock price performance, growth in earnings per share and increase in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins. Get the full Granite Construction Ratings Report now.

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4. As of noon trading, McDermott International ( MDR) is up $0.10 (0.9%) to $10.76 on light volume Thus far, 592,203 shares of McDermott International exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.9 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $10.60-$10.78 after having opened the day at $10.60 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $10.66.

McDermott International, Inc. operates as an engineering, procurement, construction, and installation (EPCI) company worldwide. It focuses on designing and executing complex offshore oil and gas projects. McDermott International has a market cap of $2.5 billion and is part of the industrial goods sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 16.6, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 17.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 12 analysts that rate McDermott International a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 1 rates it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates McDermott International as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and reasonable valuation levels. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including disappointing return on equity, a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself and poor profit margins. Get the full McDermott International Ratings Report now.

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3. As of noon trading, Louisiana-Pacific ( LPX) is up $0.16 (0.9%) to $17.33 on light volume Thus far, 765,147 shares of Louisiana-Pacific exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.4 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $17.12-$17.44 after having opened the day at $17.16 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $17.17.

Louisiana-Pacific Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, engages in manufacturing and distributing building products for new home construction, repair and remodeling, manufactured housing, and light industrial and commercial construction. Louisiana-Pacific has a market cap of $2.4 billion and is part of the industrial goods sector. Shares are up 117.0% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 2 analysts that rate Louisiana-Pacific a buy, 4 analysts rate it a sell, and 6 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Louisiana-Pacific as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and solid stock price performance. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the company's profit margins have been poor overall. Get the full Louisiana-Pacific Ratings Report now.

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2. As of noon trading, Masco Corporation ( MAS) is up $0.12 (0.7%) to $16.28 on light volume Thus far, 859,528 shares of Masco Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5.3 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $15.92-$16.34 after having opened the day at $15.94 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $16.16.

Masco Corporation manufactures, distributes, and installs home improvement and building products primarily in North America and Europe. Masco Corporation has a market cap of $5.8 billion and is part of the industrial goods sector. Shares are up 55.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 2 analysts that rate Masco Corporation a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 9 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Masco Corporation as a hold. Among the primary strengths of the company is its solid stock price performance. At the same time, however, we also find weaknesses including unimpressive growth in net income, disappointing return on equity and weak operating cash flow. Get the full Masco Corporation Ratings Report now.

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1. As of noon trading, Fluor Corporation ( FLR) is up $0.38 (0.7%) to $57.37 on light volume Thus far, 361,995 shares of Fluor Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.6 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $56.86-$57.70 after having opened the day at $57.00 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $56.99.

Fluor Corporation, through its subsidiaries, provides engineering, procurement, construction, maintenance, and project management services worldwide. Fluor Corporation has a market cap of $9.6 billion and is part of the industrial goods sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 16.0, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 13.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 14 analysts that rate Fluor Corporation a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 2 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Fluor Corporation as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, growth in earnings per share, good cash flow from operations, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins. Get the full Fluor Corporation 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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