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The Materials & Construction industry as a whole closed the day down 2.1% versus the S&P 500, which was down 1.1%. Laggards within the Materials & Construction industry included Comstock ( CHCI), down 5.0%, Ecology and Environment ( EEI), down 2.1%, China Ceramics ( CCCL), down 5.5%, Integrated Electrical Services ( IESC), down 2.7% and India Globalization Capital ( IGC), down 18.9%.

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

China Ceramics ( CCCL) is one of the companies that pushed the Materials & Construction industry lower today. China Ceramics was down $0.04 (5.5%) to $0.78 on light volume. Throughout the day, 49,870 shares of China Ceramics exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 85,700 shares. The stock ranged in price between $0.78-$0.84 after having opened the day at $0.83 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $0.82.

China Ceramics has a market cap of $16.7 million and is part of the industrial goods sector. Shares are down 66.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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At the close, Ecology and Environment ( EEI) was down $0.21 (2.1%) to $9.65 on light volume. Throughout the day, 1,932 shares of Ecology and Environment exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5,500 shares. The stock ranged in price between $9.65-$9.74 after having opened the day at $9.74 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $9.86.

Ecology and Environment, Inc., an environmental consulting firm, provides professional services to the government and private sectors worldwide. Ecology and Environment has a market cap of $26.3 million and is part of the industrial goods sector. Shares are down 10.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Ecology and Environment as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its disappointing return on equity, weak operating cash flow and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on EEI go as follows:

  • 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 Commercial Services & Supplies industry and the overall market, ECOLOGY AND ENVIRONMENT INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $1.30 million or 33.79% 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.
  • EEI has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 15.82% from its price level of one year ago. Turning toward the future, the fact that the stock has come down in price over the past year should not necessarily be interpreted as a negative; it could be one of the factors that may help make the stock attractive down the road. Right now, however, we believe that it is too soon to buy.
  • The company, on the basis of net income growth from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed compared to the Commercial Services & Supplies industry average, but is greater than that of the S&P 500. The net income increased by 26.8% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from -$0.44 million to -$0.32 million.
  • EEI, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 4.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 2.2%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: Ecology and Environment Ratings Report

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Comstock ( CHCI) was another company that pushed the Materials & Construction industry lower today. Comstock was down $0.05 (5.0%) to $0.94 on light volume. Throughout the day, 27,762 shares of Comstock exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 51,600 shares. The stock ranged in price between $0.94-$1.02 after having opened the day at $0.99 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $0.99.

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 $18.6 million and is part of the industrial goods sector. Shares are down 50.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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 generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself.

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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 98.6% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from -$0.84 million to -$1.66 million.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio is very high at 28.16 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 19.12%. Regardless of CHCI's low profit margin, it has managed to increase from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, CHCI's net profit margin of -14.10% significantly underperformed when compared to the industry average.
  • Despite any intermediate fluctuations, we have only bad news to report on this stock's performance over the last year: it has tumbled by 36.07%, worse than the S&P 500's performance. Consistent with the plunge in the stock price, the company's earnings per share are down 100.00% compared to the year-earlier quarter. 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.

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.