3 Stocks Driving The Materials & Construction Industry Higher

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.

All three major indices traded up today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading up 68 points (0.4%) at 17,137 as of Friday, Sept. 5, 2014, 4:20 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,903 issues advancing vs. 1,131 declining with 161 unchanged.

The Materials & Construction industry as a whole closed the day up 0.2% versus the S&P 500, which was up 0.5%. Top gainers within the Materials & Construction industry included Avalon Holdings ( AWX), up 3.3%, Comstock ( CHCI), up 1.7%, Integrated Electrical Services ( IESC), up 1.6%, Goldfield ( GV), up 1.8% and Orion Marine Group ( ORN), up 3.1%.

TheStreet Ratings Group would like to highlight 3 stocks pushing the industry higher today:

Orion Marine Group ( ORN) is one of the companies that pushed the Materials & Construction industry higher today. Orion Marine Group was up $0.31 (3.1%) to $10.41 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 159,323 shares of Orion Marine Group exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 99,900 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $10.10-$10.44 after having opened the day at $10.10 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $10.10.

Orion Marine Group, Inc. operates as a marine specialty contractor serving the heavy civil marine infrastructure market. Orion Marine Group has a market cap of $275.0 million and is part of the industrial goods sector. Shares are down 16.0% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 3 analysts who rate Orion Marine Group a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 1 rates it a hold.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Orion Marine Group as a hold. 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 notable return on equity. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including unimpressive growth in net income, poor profit margins and weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on ORN go as follows:

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 11.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 7.3%. 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.
  • ORN's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.13 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. Along with the favorable debt-to-equity ratio, the company maintains an adequate quick ratio of 1.04, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • Compared to its price level of one year ago, ORN is down 0.99% to its most recent closing price of 10.07. Looking ahead, our view is that this company's fundamentals will not have much impact either way, allowing the stock to generally move up or down based on the push and pull of the broad market.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to -$2.90 million or 165.53% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.
  • 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 Construction & Engineering industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 464.6% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $0.32 million to -$1.16 million.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: Orion Marine Group 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.

At the close, Integrated Electrical Services ( IESC) was up $0.12 (1.6%) to $8.07 on light volume. Throughout the day, 9,599 shares of Integrated Electrical Services exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 14,500 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $7.96-$8.25 after having opened the day at $7.96 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $7.94.

Integrated Electrical Services, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides communications, residential, commercial and industrial, and infrastructure solutions in the United States. Integrated Electrical Services has a market cap of $170.9 million and is part of the industrial goods sector. Shares are up 47.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are no analysts who rate Integrated Electrical Services a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

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

TheStreet Ratings rates Integrated Electrical Services 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, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on IESC go as follows:

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 11.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 12.0%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • IESC's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.17 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. Along with the favorable debt-to-equity ratio, the company maintains an adequate quick ratio of 1.19, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • INTEGRATED ELECTRICAL SVCS 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. During the past fiscal year, INTEGRATED ELECTRICAL SVCS continued to lose money by earning -$0.14 versus -$0.18 in the prior year.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Construction & Engineering industry. The net income increased by 334.9% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from -$1.14 million to $2.67 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $3.13 million or 21.03% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of -17.47%.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: Integrated Electrical Services 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.

Comstock ( CHCI) was another company that pushed the Materials & Construction industry higher today. Comstock was up $0.02 (1.7%) to $1.22 on light volume. Throughout the day, 21,070 shares of Comstock exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 52,300 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $1.20-$1.23 after having opened the day at $1.21 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $1.20.

Comstock Holding Companies, Inc. operates as a real estate development and construction services company in the United States. The company operates through three segments: Homebuilding, Multi-family, and Real Estate Services. Comstock has a market cap of $22.6 million and is part of the industrial goods sector. Shares are down 40.0% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are no analysts who rate Comstock a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Comstock as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its unimpressive growth in net income, generally high debt management risk, disappointing return on equity, poor profit margins and weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on CHCI go as follows:

  • 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 Household Durables industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 318.4% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $0.72 million to -$1.58 million.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio is very high at 10.87 and currently higher than the industry average, implying increased risk associated with the management of debt levels within the company.
  • 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. Compared to other companies in the Household Durables industry and the overall market, COMSTOCK HOLDING COS INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for COMSTOCK HOLDING COS INC is rather low; currently it is at 20.18%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of -19.85% is significantly below that of the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to -$2.59 million or 163.52% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: Comstock 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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