3 Materials & Construction Stocks Driving The 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.

One out of the three major indices traded up today Two out of the three major indices traded up today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading up 31 points (0.2%) at 17,848 as of Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014, 3:25 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,614 issues advancing vs. 1,392 declining with 174 unchanged.

The Materials & Construction industry as a whole closed the day down 0.1% versus the S&P 500, which was unchanged. Top gainers within the Materials & Construction industry included Comstock ( CHCI), up 1.9%, Aspen Aerogels ( ASPN), up 4.5%, Real Goods Solar ( RGSE), up 4.1%, Sharps Compliance ( SMED), up 3.1% and Abengoa ( ABGB), up 3.8%.

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

Real Goods Solar ( RGSE) is one of the companies that pushed the Materials & Construction industry higher today. Real Goods Solar was up $0.03 (4.1%) to $0.82 on light volume. Throughout the day, 148,772 shares of Real Goods Solar exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 612,500 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $0.81-$0.85 after having opened the day at $0.81 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $0.79.

Real Goods Solar, Inc. operates as a residential and commercial solar energy engineering, procurement, and construction company in the United States. It provides commercial and residential solar energy solutions. Real Goods Solar has a market cap of $42.1 million and is part of the industrial goods sector. Shares are down 73.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are no analysts who rate Real Goods Solar 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 Real Goods Solar as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its unimpressive growth in net income, poor profit margins, weak operating cash flow, generally high debt management risk and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on RGSE 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 Electrical Equipment industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 634.1% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from -$2.91 million to -$21.36 million.
  • The gross profit margin for REAL GOODS SOLAR INC is currently extremely low, coming in at 11.40%. It has decreased significantly from the same period last year. Along with this, the net profit margin of -60.70% is significantly below that of the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to -$13.61 million or 41345.45% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.
  • RGSE's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.73 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. Despite the fact that RGSE's debt-to-equity ratio is mixed in its results, the company's quick ratio of 0.59 is low and demonstrates weak liquidity.
  • Despite any intermediate fluctuations, we have only bad news to report on this stock's performance over the last year: it has tumbled by 65.50%, worse than the S&P 500's performance. Consistent with the plunge in the stock price, the company's earnings per share are down 318.18% 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: Real Goods Solar 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, Aspen Aerogels ( ASPN) was up $0.34 (4.5%) to $7.85 on light volume. Throughout the day, 10,243 shares of Aspen Aerogels exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 55,700 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $7.55-$7.88 after having opened the day at $7.55 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $7.51.

Aspen Aerogels has a market cap of $173.4 million and is part of the industrial goods sector. Shares are unchanged year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday.

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 (1.9%) to $1.05 on light volume. Throughout the day, 29,796 shares of Comstock exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 60,700 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $1.00-$1.07 after having opened the day at $1.03 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $1.03.

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 $20.3 million and is part of the industrial goods sector. Shares are down 46.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday. 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 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 debt-to-equity ratio is very high at 28.20 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 17.78%. It has decreased significantly from the same period last year. Along with this, the net profit margin of -0.86% trails that of the industry average.
  • CHCI's stock share price has done very poorly compared to where it was a year ago: Despite any rallies, the net result is that it is down by 45.08%, which is also worse that the performance of the S&P 500 Index. Investors have so far failed to pay much attention to the earnings improvements the company has managed to achieve over the last 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.
  • COMSTOCK HOLDING COS INC 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 year. During the past fiscal year, COMSTOCK HOLDING COS INC continued to lose money by earning -$0.10 versus -$0.47 in the prior year.

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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