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The Materials & Construction industry as a whole closed the day down 1.2% versus the S&P 500, which was up 0.1%. Laggards within the Materials & Construction industry included Avalon Holdings ( AWX), down 7.5%, Guanwei Recycling ( GPRC), down 29.9%, Goldfield ( GV), down 3.0%, James Hardie Industries ( JHX), down 1.7% and Lennar ( LEN.B), down 2.4%.

TheStreet Ratings Group would like to highlight 3 stocks that pushed the industry lower today:

MasTec ( MTZ) is one of the companies that pushed the Materials & Construction industry lower today. MasTec was down $2.29 (7.5%) to $28.40 on average volume. Throughout the day, 1,806,588 shares of MasTec exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1,334,100 shares. The stock ranged in price between $28.28-$30.50 after having opened the day at $30.50 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $30.69.

MasTec, Inc., an infrastructure construction company, provides engineering, building, installation, maintenance, and upgrade services for energy, utility, and communications infrastructure primarily in the United States. MasTec has a market cap of $2.3 billion and is part of the industrial goods sector. Shares are down 6.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 7 analysts who rate MasTec a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 2 rate it a hold.

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TheStreet Ratings rates MasTec as a buy. 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. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on MTZ go as follows:

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 12.9%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 4.9%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share.
  • MASTEC INC's earnings per share declined by 17.4% 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, MASTEC INC increased its bottom line by earning $1.74 versus $1.43 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.96 versus $1.74).
  • MTZ's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.87 is somewhat low overall, but it is high when compared to the industry average, implying that the management of the debt levels should be evaluated further. Regardless of the somewhat mixed results with the debt-to-equity ratio, the company's quick ratio of 1.47 is sturdy.
  • The company's current return on equity has slightly decreased from the same quarter one year prior. This implies a minor weakness in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Construction & Engineering industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, MASTEC INC has outperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: MasTec Ratings Report

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At the close, James Hardie Industries ( JHX) was down $1.08 (1.7%) to $63.02 on light volume. Throughout the day, 1,988 shares of James Hardie Industries exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3,000 shares. The stock ranged in price between $63.00-$63.41 after having opened the day at $63.25 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $64.10.

James Hardie Industries plc, together with its subsidiaries, manufactures and sells fiber cement products and systems for interior and exterior building construction applications primarily in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the Philippines, and Europe. James Hardie Industries has a market cap of $5.7 billion and is part of the industrial goods sector. Shares are up 11.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates James Hardie Industries as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the growth in the company's earnings per share has not been good.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on JHX go as follows:

  • JHX's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 5.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 15.2%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share.
  • 37.38% is the gross profit margin for JAMES HARDIE INDUSTRIES PLC which we consider to be strong. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 161.92% to $68.10 million when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite an increase in cash flow, JAMES HARDIE INDUSTRIES PLC's average is still marginally south of the industry average growth rate of 171.56%.
  • The change in net income from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the Construction Materials industry average, but is less than that of the S&P 500. The net income has significantly decreased by 168.8% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from -$69.50 million to -$186.80 million.
  • JAMES HARDIE INDUSTRIES PLC has experienced a steep decline in earnings per share in the most recent quarter in comparison to its performance from the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. We feel it is likely to report a decline in earnings in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, JAMES HARDIE INDUSTRIES PLC increased its bottom line by earning $1.15 versus $0.51 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 46.1% in earnings ($0.62 versus $1.15).

You can view the full analysis from the report here: James Hardie Industries Ratings Report

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Guanwei Recycling ( GPRC) was another company that pushed the Materials & Construction industry lower today. Guanwei Recycling was down $0.43 (29.9%) to $1.01 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 522,280 shares of Guanwei Recycling exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 60,300 shares. The stock ranged in price between $0.75-$1.30 after having opened the day at $1.25 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $1.44.

Guanwei Recycling Corp. manufactures and distributes low density polyethylene (LDPE) and other recycled plastics products primarily in the People's Republic of China and internationally. Guanwei Recycling has a market cap of $14.4 million and is part of the industrial goods sector. Shares are down 51.0% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Guanwei Recycling as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its feeble growth in its earnings per share, deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity, poor profit margins and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself.

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Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on GPRC go as follows:

  • GUANWEI RECYCLING CORP has experienced a steep decline in earnings per share in the most recent quarter in comparison to its performance from the same quarter a year ago. The company has reported a trend of declining earnings per share over the past two years. During the past fiscal year, GUANWEI RECYCLING CORP reported lower earnings of $0.93 versus $1.13 in the prior year.
  • The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Commercial Services & Supplies industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 68.0% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $2.37 million to $0.76 million.
  • Return on equity has greatly decreased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of major weakness within the corporation. When compared to other companies in the Commercial Services & Supplies industry and the overall market, GUANWEI RECYCLING CORP's return on equity is below that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for GUANWEI RECYCLING CORP is rather low; currently it is at 16.86%. It has decreased significantly from the same period last year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 6.41% trails that of the industry average.
  • In its most recent trading session, GPRC has closed at a price level that was not very different from its closing price of one year earlier. This is probably due to its weak earnings growth as well as other mixed factors. The fact that the stock is now selling for less than others in its industry in relation to its current earnings is not reason enough to justify a buy rating at this time.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: Guanwei Recycling 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.