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.

Martin Marietta Materials ( MLM) pushed the Materials & Construction industry lower today making it today's featured Materials & Construction laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.4%. By the end of trading, Martin Marietta Materials fell $1.34 (-1.3%) to $98.73 on average volume. Throughout the day, 348,549 shares of Martin Marietta Materials exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 394,000 shares. The stock ranged in price between $98.58-$100.11 after having opened the day at $99.58 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $100.07. Other companies within the Materials & Construction industry that declined today were: M.D.C. Holdings ( MDC), down 5.8%, Avalon Holdings ( AWX), down 4.9%, Hovnanian ( HOV), down 3.5%, and Integrated Electrical Services ( IESC), down 2.9%.
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Martin Marietta Materials, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, engages in the production and sale of aggregates for the construction industry primarily in the United States, Canada, the Bahamas, and the Caribbean Islands. Martin Marietta Materials has a market cap of $4.56 billion and is part of the industrial goods sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 65.5, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 7.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are four analysts that rate Martin Marietta Materials a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and eight rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Martin Marietta Materials as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, increase in net income, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, solid stock price performance and growth in earnings per share. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity.

On the positive front, Goldfield ( GV), up 7.3%, India Globalization Capital ( IGC), up 7.1%, Pure Cycle Corporation ( PCYO), up 6.3%, and Sharps Compliance Corporation ( SMED), up 5.2%, were all gainers within the materials & construction industry with KB Home ( KBH) being today's featured materials & construction industry leader.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, 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).

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