NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- TheStreet's Jim Cramer says the building permits number is "terrific," and he cares about this number with regard to housing because it provides information about the future of the market.

Cramer disagrees with the notion that the spring selling season is already in a drought, and he expects Lennar Homes'  (LEN) report will tell a good story.

Cramer does not like homebuilder stocks, but he does like what is inside the house. He recommends Masco (MAS), Whirlpool  (WHR) and Newell Rubbermaid  (NWL) and cautions that the permits number must remain strong.

Must Watch: Jim Cramer: Building Permits Number Key to Housing Sector's Growth

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

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Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates LENNAR CORP as a "buy" with a ratings score of B. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate LENNAR CORP (LEN) a BUY. This is driven by a number of strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, good cash flow from operations, growth in earnings per share and increase 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."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 28.9%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 41.9%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 218.90% to $210.03 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, LENNAR CORP has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 59.09%.
  • LENNAR CORP has improved earnings per share by 30.4% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, LENNAR CORP reported lower earnings of $2.14 versus $3.10 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.42 versus $2.14).
  • The company, on the basis of net income growth from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed compared to the Household Durables industry average, but is greater than that of the S&P 500. The net income increased by 31.9% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $124.34 million to $164.08 million.
  • The gross profit margin for LENNAR CORP is currently lower than what is desirable, coming in at 25.82%. Regardless of LEN's low profit margin, it has managed to increase from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, LEN's net profit margin of 8.56% compares favorably to the industry average.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: LEN Ratings Report

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates MASCO CORP as a "buy" with a ratings score of B-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation: 

"We rate MASCO CORP (MAS) a BUY. This is driven by a number of strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, notable return on equity, good cash flow from operations, impressive record of earnings per share growth and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • MAS's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 3.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 9.1%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • MASCO CORP reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, MASCO CORP turned its bottom line around by earning $0.79 versus -$0.16 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.12 versus $0.79).
  • The company's current return on equity greatly increased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of significant strength within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Building Products industry and the overall market, MASCO CORP's return on equity significantly exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 54.45% to $295.00 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, MASCO CORP has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -7.29%.
  • Compared to where it was 12 months ago, the stock is up, but it has so far lagged the appreciation in the S&P 500. Turning our attention to the future direction of the stock, it goes without saying that even the best stocks can fall in an overall down market. However, in any other environment, this stock still has good upside potential despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: MAS Ratings Report

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates WHIRLPOOL CORP as a "buy" with a ratings score of B. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation: 

"We rate WHIRLPOOL CORP (WHR) a BUY. This is driven by multiple strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, revenue growth and reasonable valuation levels. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • Compared to where it was a year ago today, the stock is now trading at a higher level, reflecting both the market's overall trend during that period and the fact that the company's earnings growth has been robust. Turning our attention to the future direction of the stock, it goes without saying that even the best stocks can fall in an overall down market. However, in any other environment, this stock still has good upside potential despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year.
  • WHIRLPOOL CORP has improved earnings per share by 48.7% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past year. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, WHIRLPOOL CORP increased its bottom line by earning $10.24 versus $5.06 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($12.22 versus $10.24).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has greatly exceeded that of the S&P 500, but is less than that of the Household Durables industry average. The net income increased by 48.4% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $122.00 million to $181.00 million.
  • WHR's revenue growth trails the industry average of 28.9%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 6.2%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: WHR Ratings Report

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates NEWELL RUBBERMAID INC as a "buy" with a ratings score of A. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation: 

"We rate NEWELL RUBBERMAID INC (NWL) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its growth in earnings per share, revenue growth, notable return on equity, increase in stock price during the past year and good cash flow from operations. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • NEWELL RUBBERMAID INC has improved earnings per share by 17.1% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, NEWELL RUBBERMAID INC increased its bottom line by earning $1.45 versus $1.34 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.98 versus $1.45).
  • NWL's revenue growth trails the industry average of 28.9%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 2.9%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Household Durables industry and the overall market, NEWELL RUBBERMAID INC's return on equity exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The stock has risen over the past year as investors have generally rewarded the company for its earnings growth and other positive factors like the ones we have cited in this report. The stock's price rise over the last year has driven it to a level which is somewhat expensive compared to the rest of its industry. We feel, however, that other strengths this company displays justify these higher price levels.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $304.20 million or 16.41% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite an increase in cash flow, NEWELL RUBBERMAID INC's cash flow growth rate is still lower than the industry average growth rate of 59.09%.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: NWL Ratings Report

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

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