Missed the homebuilder run? It's not too late
These companies serving the construction industry offer some upside potential.
By Ken Shreve
If you missed the recent run in homebuilder stocks, don't worry. Instead of chasing them when most are well past proper entry points, focus on ancillary plays -- companies that stand to benefit from a continued housing recovery.
Housing start and building permit data earlier this week smashed expectations. Starts spiked in September, rising to 872,000 from 758,000 in August -- the most since July 2008.
Fortune Brands Home & Security (FBHS) could still be in the early stages of a move, and shares remain under accumulation. It was spun off by Fortune Brands a little over one year ago. The company, with a market capitalization of $3.1 billion, provides home security, and kitchen, bath and tool storage products. Some of its brands include Master Lock and Moen faucets.
Expect strong numbers from the company when it reports earnings on Oct. 23. It's expected to earn $0.25 a share, up 32% from a year ago with sales up 6% to $899.6 million. In 2011, FBHS earned $0.60 a share. This year, the Thomson Reuters consensus estimate calls for profit of $0.84 a share, up 40% from 2011. Next year, profit should come in at $1.13, up 34% from 2012.
FBHS is firming up at its 10-week moving average for the first time after clearing a base in August. It's just the kind of supporting action you want to see after a breakout. On a weekly chart, the 10-week moving average is an area where institutional investors will often come in and add to a position.
Meanwhile, SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF (XHB) is showing similar technical action. After a technical breakout in mid-August, it's firming up at its 10-week moving average for the first time. Its name might lead many to believe it's a pure-play home builder ETF but it's not. Only two home builders are inside the fund's top-10 holdings: PulteGroup (PHM) and Lennar (LEN).
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The offering could become the second-biggest this year if underwriters exercise an option to buy more shares.
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