3 Stocks Pushing 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 167 points (1.0%) at 17,113 as of Friday, Sept. 26, 2014, 4:20 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 2,244 issues advancing vs. 828 declining with 137 unchanged.

The Materials & Construction industry as a whole closed the day up 0.7% versus the S&P 500, which was up 0.9%. Top gainers within the Materials & Construction industry included Jewett-Cameron Trading ( JCTCF), up 2.0%, Skyline ( SKY), up 22.8%, Integrated Electrical Services ( IESC), up 2.4%, UCP ( UCP), up 1.9% and Casella Waste Systems ( CWST), up 1.8%.

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

Casella Waste Systems ( CWST) is one of the companies that pushed the Materials & Construction industry higher today. Casella Waste Systems was up $0.07 (1.8%) to $3.92 on average volume. Throughout the day, 161,355 shares of Casella Waste Systems exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 137,100 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $3.85-$4.00 after having opened the day at $3.85 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $3.85.

Casella Waste Systems, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, operates as a regional, vertically-integrated solid waste, recycling, and resource management services company in the northeastern United States. Casella Waste Systems has a market cap of $155.8 million and is part of the industrial goods sector. Shares are down 33.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 2 analysts who rate Casella Waste Systems a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 6 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 Casella Waste Systems as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its unimpressive growth in net income, poor profit margins and weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on CWST 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 Commercial Services & Supplies industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 51.8% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from -$0.19 million to -$0.29 million.
  • The gross profit margin for CASELLA WASTE SYS INC is currently lower than what is desirable, coming in at 32.95%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of -0.20% is significantly below that of the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $13.58 million or 29.85% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing the cash generation rate to the industry average, the firm's growth is significantly lower.
  • This stock's share value has moved by only 27.10% over the past year. Naturally, the overall market trend is bound to be a significant factor. However, in one sense, the stock's sharp decline last year is a positive for future investors, making it cheaper (in proportion to its earnings over the past year) than most other stocks in its industry. But due to other concerns, we feel the stock is still not a good buy right now.
  • CASELLA WASTE SYS INC's earnings have gone downhill when comparing its most recently reported quarter with the same quarter a year earlier. 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, CASELLA WASTE SYS INC continued to lose money by earning -$0.58 versus -$1.50 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings (-$0.34 versus -$0.58).

You can view the full analysis from the report here: Casella Waste Systems 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, UCP ( UCP) was up $0.22 (1.9%) to $12.12 on light volume. Throughout the day, 20,264 shares of UCP exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 36,900 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $12.00-$12.25 after having opened the day at $12.00 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $11.90.

UCP, Inc. operates as a homebuilder and land developer in California and Washington, the United States. The company operates in two segments, Homebuilding and Land Development. It designs, constructs, and sells single-family homes under the Benchmark Communities brand name. UCP has a market cap of $95.0 million and is part of the industrial goods sector. Shares are down 18.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are no analysts who rate UCP a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 1 rates 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 UCP as a hold. 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 and notable return on equity. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including poor profit margins and weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on UCP go as follows:

  • UCP's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 5.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 129.4%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.52, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels.
  • Compared to other companies in the Household Durables industry and the overall market, UCP INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for UCP INC is rather low; currently it is at 18.80%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 0.28% trails that of the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to -$9.47 million or 409.41% 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: UCP 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.

Integrated Electrical Services ( IESC) was another company that pushed the Materials & Construction industry higher today. Integrated Electrical Services was up $0.19 (2.4%) to $8.00 on light volume. Throughout the day, 3,123 shares of Integrated Electrical Services exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 17,000 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $7.88-$8.10 after having opened the day at $8.10 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $7.81.

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 $171.1 million and is part of the industrial goods sector. Shares are up 44.9% 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.

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 11.3%. 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 -17.32%.

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.

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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