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Bull of the Day: Louisiana-Pacific (LPX)

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It appears as though the housing market is back on track. Prices are rising across much of the country, while fears over higher rates down the line are leading to a bit of a scramble among prospective buyers and investors. Add in a relatively solid jobs market, and you have a pretty great situation for the housing space heading into the crucial spring buying season.

This scenario could be great for homebuilders too, as these companies look to satisfy this sudden burst of demand. However, it could also be a fantastic situation for those in the building products space, as homebuilders will need to get their essentials from somewhere. That is why investors interested in the solid housing market story may want to look to stocks like Louisiana-Pacific (LPX - Free Report) in this environment for another way to play this bullish story.

LPX in Focus

Louisiana-Pacific is based in Nashville, and the company is currently the world’s largest producer of oriented strand board panels, while it also specializes in a variety of other wood building products. These products are used in a variety of homebuilding and other construction activities, making LPX the perfect company to benefit from a surge in homebuilding that could result from the increased demand.

Analysts seem to agree with this sentiment too, as the wood industry in the building and materials market currently has a Zacks Industry Rank just outside the top 5% overall. Add in a sector rank in the top quarter, and the space that LPX finds itself in looks pretty promising right now from the high-level look.

LPX Earnings Estimates & Fundamentals

And while this solid trend is important, fundamentals also look great for LPX. The company currently has an ‘A’ VGM score which includes an ‘A’ Grade for growth. And with cash flow growth that is nearly 10 times the industry average, sales growth that is also easily above the average, and a projected EPS growth north of 70%, it is easy to see why LPX has such solid rankings.

But beyond that, LPX also shines when it comes to recent earnings estimates too. Analysts have been racing to raise their estimates for Louisiana-Pacific stock, and we haven’t seen any cuts in the past sixty days for either the current quarter or the current year.

Instead, in the past sixty days, we have seen the consensus estimate increase by over 14% for the full year, and then over 20% for the current quarter. Best of all, the most accurate estimate for the current quarter and current year is far higher than the consensus in both cases. This means that the most recent estimates—and thus those that probably have the most up-to-date info—are even higher, including a double digit earnings ESP for the current year, and an ESP of over 27% for the current quarter, numbers that can suggest an earnings beat in the next report, and continued strength.

Louisiana-Pacific Corporation Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

Louisiana-Pacific Corporation Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise | Louisiana-Pacific Corporation Quote

With all of these great metrics, it shouldn’t be any surprise that LPX has earned itself a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) and that we are looking for outperformance from this company in the near term (You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here ).

Bottom Line

The housing market appears to be on solid footing, and this could help a number of companies to prosper in 2017. While many investors are focused in on the homebuilders for gains—and for good reason—there are other areas worth watching too.

In particular, the building product space, and especially LPX, should be on your radar. The company has strong fundamentals and rising earnings estimates, and in this impressive environment there is plenty to like about this wood stock as we push further into 2017.

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