3 Stocks Advancing The Materials & Construction Industry

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.

Two out of the three major indices traded up today The three major indices are trading lower today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading up 80 points (0.5%) at 17,464 as of Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2014, 3:25 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,610 issues advancing vs. 1,406 declining with 158 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 Jewett-Cameron Trading ( JCTCF), up 1.6%, Comstock ( CHCI), up 5.9%, Goldfield ( GV), up 3.2%, Casella Waste Systems ( CWST), up 2.8% and Stock Building Supply Holdings ( STCK), up 3.9%.

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

Stock Building Supply Holdings ( STCK) is one of the companies that pushed the Materials & Construction industry higher today. Stock Building Supply Holdings was up $0.57 (3.9%) to $15.29 on light volume. Throughout the day, 33,292 shares of Stock Building Supply Holdings exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 61,000 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $14.73-$15.60 after having opened the day at $14.85 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $14.72.

Stock Building Supply Holdings, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, distributes lumber and building materials in the United States. Stock Building Supply Holdings has a market cap of $402.3 million and is part of the industrial goods sector. Shares are down 19.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there is 1 analyst who rates Stock Building Supply Holdings a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 2 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 Stock Building Supply Holdings as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself and poor profit margins.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on STCK go as follows:

  • In its most recent trading session, STCK 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. Looking ahead, other than the push or pull of the broad market, we do not see anything in the company's numbers that may help reverse the decline experienced over the past 12 months. Despite the past decline, the stock is still selling for more than most others in its industry.
  • The gross profit margin for STOCK BUILDING SUPPLY is rather low; currently it is at 24.13%. Regardless of STCK's low profit margin, it has managed to increase from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 1.40% trails the industry average.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio is somewhat low, currently at 0.65, and is less than that of the industry average, implying that there has been a relatively successful effort in the management of debt levels. Although the company had a strong debt-to-equity ratio, its quick ratio of 0.99 is somewhat weak and could be cause for future problems.
  • In comparison to the other companies in the Trading Companies & Distributors industry and the overall market, STOCK BUILDING SUPPLY's return on equity is significantly below that of the industry average and is below that of the S&P 500.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 302.02% to $16.69 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, STOCK BUILDING SUPPLY has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 5.86%.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: Stock Building Supply Holdings 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, Casella Waste Systems ( CWST) was up $0.12 (2.8%) to $4.38 on light volume. Throughout the day, 37,371 shares of Casella Waste Systems exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 170,600 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $4.20-$4.41 after having opened the day at $4.29 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $4.26.

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 $173.2 million and is part of the industrial goods sector. Shares are down 26.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 2 analysts who rate Casella Waste Systems a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 5 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 22.75% over the past year. 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.
  • 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.

Comstock ( CHCI) was another company that pushed the Materials & Construction industry higher today. Comstock was up $0.05 (5.9%) to $0.90 on light volume. Throughout the day, 14,956 shares of Comstock exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 60,100 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $0.88-$0.93 after having opened the day at $0.93 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $0.85.

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 $16.0 million and is part of the industrial goods sector. Shares are down 57.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. 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 generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself.

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 56.25%, 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.

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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