4 Stocks Pushing The Materials & Construction Industry Downward

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 73 points (0.5%) at 14,495 as of Friday, March 22, 2013, 12:45 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,725 issues advancing vs. 1,132 declining with 170 unchanged.

The Materials & Construction industry currently sits up 0.1% versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.6%. A company within the industry that fell today was PulteGroup ( PHM), up 1.4%.

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

4. MDU Resources Group ( MDU) is one of the companies pushing the Materials & Construction industry lower today. As of noon trading, MDU Resources Group is down $0.31 (-1.3%) to $24.35 on average volume Thus far, 368,340 shares of MDU Resources Group exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 688,700 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $24.35-$24.69 after having opened the day at $24.69 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $24.66.

MDU Resources Group, Inc. operates as a diversified natural resource company in the United States. The company's Electric segment generates, transmits, and distributes electricity in Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming. MDU Resources Group has a market cap of $4.7 billion and is part of the basic materials sector. Shares are up 16.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. 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, good cash flow from operations, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures 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, Vulcan Materials Company ( VMC) is down $0.87 (-1.7%) to $51.38 on light volume Thus far, 172,364 shares of Vulcan Materials Company exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 657,100 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $51.23-$52.50 after having opened the day at $52.16 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $52.25.

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 $7.0 billion and is part of the industrial goods sector. 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, impressive record of earnings per share growth and compelling growth in net income. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the company's profit margins have been poor overall. Get the full Vulcan Materials Company Ratings Report now.

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2. As of noon trading, Owens-Corning ( OC) is down $1.13 (-2.8%) to $39.66 on average volume Thus far, 940,826 shares of Owens-Corning exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.8 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $39.54-$41.16 after having opened the day at $40.94 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $40.79.

Owens Corning produces and sells glass fiber reinforcements and other materials for composite systems; and residential and commercial building materials worldwide. It operates in two segments, Composites and Building Materials. Owens-Corning has a market cap of $4.9 billion and is part of the industrial goods sector. Shares are up 10.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 7 analysts that rate Owens-Corning a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 7 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Owens-Corning as a buy. 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 good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. Get the full Owens-Corning Ratings Report now.

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1. As of noon trading, Lennar Corporation ( LEN) is down $0.51 (-1.2%) to $41.88 on average volume Thus far, 1.9 million shares of Lennar Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.0 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $41.82-$42.59 after having opened the day at $42.43 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $42.39.

Lennar Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, engages in homebuilding, financial services, and real estate businesses in the United States. Lennar Corporation has a market cap of $7.0 billion and is part of the industrial goods sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 13.2, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 9.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 8 analysts that rate Lennar Corporation a buy, 2 analysts rate it a sell, and 7 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Lennar Corporation as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, notable return on equity, good cash flow from operations, solid stock price performance and compelling growth in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated. Get the full Lennar 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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