4 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 up today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading up 51 points (0.4%) at 14,033 as of Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013, 11:50 AM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,948 issues advancing vs. 943 declining with 147 unchanged.

The Materials & Construction industry currently sits up 0.6% versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.5%. A company within the industry that increased today was James Hardie Industries ( JHX), up 1.7%. On the negative front, top decliners within the industry include Armstrong World Industries ( AWI), down 3.2%, Sherwin-Williams Company ( SHW), down 2.0% and Waste Connections ( WCN), down 1.5%.

TheStreet Ratings group would like to highlight 4 stocks pushing the industry higher today:

4. MDU Resources Group ( MDU) is one of the companies pushing the Materials & Construction industry higher today. As of noon trading, MDU Resources Group is up $0.38 (1.6%) to $24.33 on average volume Thus far, 325,202 shares of MDU Resources Group exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 669,800 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $23.95-$24.34 after having opened the day at $23.95 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $23.95.

MDU Resources Group, Inc. operates as a diversified natural resource company in the United States. The company generates, transmits, and distributes electricity, as well as distributes natural gas. MDU Resources Group has a market cap of $4.5 billion and is part of the utilities sector. Shares are up 12.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 4 analysts that rate MDU Resources Group a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates MDU Resources Group as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. Get the full MDU Resources Group Ratings Report now.

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3. As of noon trading, Martin Marietta Materials ( MLM) is up $1.26 (1.2%) to $102.35 on average volume Thus far, 222,008 shares of Martin Marietta Materials exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 361,300 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $101.53-$102.93 after having opened the day at $101.61 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $101.09.

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 $4.6 billion and is part of the industrial goods sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 44.1, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 7.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 4 analysts that rate Martin Marietta Materials a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 8 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, growth in earnings per share, increase in net income, solid stock price performance and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins. Get the full Martin Marietta Materials Ratings Report now.

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2. As of noon trading, Quanta Services ( PWR) is up $0.34 (1.2%) to $29.08 on light volume Thus far, 536,134 shares of Quanta Services exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.8 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $28.79-$29.20 after having opened the day at $28.82 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $28.74.

Quanta Services, Inc. provides specialty contracting services primarily in North America. Quanta Services has a market cap of $6.3 billion and is part of the industrial goods sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 22.3, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 5.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 11 analysts that rate Quanta Services a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 3 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Quanta Services as a buy. 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, compelling growth in net income, solid stock price performance and impressive record of earnings per share growth. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow. Get the full Quanta Services Ratings Report now.

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1. As of noon trading, Fluor Corporation ( FLR) is up $0.90 (1.4%) to $65.41 on light volume Thus far, 511,304 shares of Fluor Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.4 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $64.28-$65.46 after having opened the day at $64.50 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $64.51.

Fluor Corporation, through its subsidiaries, provides engineering, procurement, construction, maintenance, and project management services worldwide. Fluor Corporation has a market cap of $10.7 billion and is part of the industrial goods sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 17.9, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 9.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. 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, increase in stock price during the past year and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. 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 4 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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