The Zacks Construction sector has performed pretty well so far this earnings season, backed by rebounding housing market dynamics and increased public sector construction activity.
A number of project awards across multiple business segments — including large transportation and highway projects, communications, transmission and power, and infrastructural projects in domestic as well as international markets — along with strong pricing are likely to have contributed to growth.
In the residential construction space, lower mortgage rates, reduced construction costs, low unemployment and rising wages are expected to have somewhat offset headwinds like rising land and labor costs, as well as shortage of home supply. Record low inventory level continues to be a potent headwind deterring prospective buyers, especially first-timers.
Some notable construction companies like United Rentals, Inc. (URI - Free Report) , Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. (J - Free Report) and D.R. Horton, Inc. (DHI - Free Report) recently released quarterly numbers. Another handful of companies from the same space are likely to release their respective quarterly numbers by this week.
Per the latest Earnings Preview, construction sector earnings are expected to grow 7.3% in the fourth quarter compared with 7.2% growth in the third quarter. Revenues are projected to increase 3.4% versus 2.5% growth in the prior quarter.
A Few Construction Stocks to Watch
Let’s take a quick glance at how the following construction stocks are poised ahead of their fourth-quarter earnings releases on Feb 11.
Our research shows that companies with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), 2 (Buy) or 3 (Hold) and a positive Earnings ESP have higher chances of beating earnings estimates. You can uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they’re reported with our Earnings ESP Filter.
Masco Corporation (MAS - Free Report) is slated to report quarterly results before the opening bell. In the last reported quarter, the company came up with disappointing results. The top and bottom lines missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 9.3% and 2.9%, respectively. In fact, Masco surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in two of the trailing four quarters, with the average positive surprise being 3.4%, as shown in the chart below:
Our proven model does not conclusively predict an earnings beat for Masco this time around, as it has an Earnings ESP of 0.00% and a Zacks Rank #3. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Masco’s fourth-quarter earnings is pegged at 53 cents per share, implying a decline of 17.2% on a year-over-year basis. The consensus estimate for revenues is $1.65 billion, indicating 18.9% year-over-year fall. (read more: Soft End-Market Demand to Hurt Masco's Q4 Earnings).
Martin Marietta Materials, Inc. (MLM - Free Report) is scheduled to report quarterly numbers before the opening bell. In the last reported quarter, the company’s earnings and revenues beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 13.1% and 6.2%, respectively. Martin Marietta reported better-than-expected earnings in two of the last four quarters, with the average positive surprise being 35.6%, as shown in the chart below:
Our proven model does not predict an earnings beat for Martin Marietta this season as it has an Earnings ESP of -10.29% and a Zacks Rank #3.
The Zacks Consensus Estimate for fourth-quarter earnings is pegged at $2.12 per share, which suggests a 27.7% increase from $1.66 reported in the year-ago period. Notably, earnings estimates for the quarter have decreased 1.9% over the past 30 days. The consensus mark for revenues is pegged at $1.02 billion, which calls for a 6.6% increase from the prior-year reported figure (read more: Martin Marietta to Post Q4 Earnings: What's in Store?).
Louisiana-Pacific Corporation (LPX - Free Report) is scheduled to report quarterly results before market open. In the last reported quarter, the company reported weaker-than-expected results. Earnings and revenues lagged the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 55.6% and 0.2%, respectively.
Its earnings missed estimates in the past four quarters, with the average being 41.8%, as shown in the chart below:
Meanwhile, our proven model does not predict an earnings beat for Louisiana-Pacific this time around, as it has an Earnings ESP of 0.00% and a Zacks Rank #1.
For the quarter to be reported, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for the company’s earnings has trended 42.9% upward over the past 60 days to 10 cents per share. The estimate suggests a 47.4% decline from the year-ago earnings of 19 cents per share. The consensus mark for revenues is $552 million, indicating a decrease of 6.3% year over year (read more: Lower OSB Pricing to Hurt Louisiana-Pacific's Q4 Earnings).
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