James Hardie Industries plc
) reached a new 52-week high of $77.26 on Mar 27, surpassing the
previous high of $69.30 on Mar 7. The latest rise was driven by
improved results for the third quarter of fiscal 2014.
The stock closed at $65.66 at the end of trading yesterday, with
a solid one-year return of over 32% and year-to-date return of
about 13.5%, outperforming the S&P 500. The average volume of
shares traded over the last three months was roughly 4726K. Based
in Dublin, Ireland, this manufacturer and seller of fiber cement
products and systems, has a market cap of $29 billion and
long-term expected earnings growth of 23%.
Shares of James Hardie Industries have been rising, following the
release of its third-quarter results on Feb 28. Adjusted earnings
improved 67% to 10 cents per share from the prior-year quarter.
However, results lagged the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 48 cents
per share. Revenues increased 10% year over year to $353 million.
Cash flow from operating activities for the nine-month period
ended Dec 31, 2013 increased to $254.7 million from $83.3 million
in the prior-year comparable period, driven by amended tax
assessment, decrease in contribution to Asbestos Injuries
Compensation Fund Ltd. (AICF) and higher earnings.
On Nov 2013, James Hardie Industries declared a dividend of 8
cents per share (fiscal 2014 first-half dividend) compared with 5
cents in the year-ago comparable period. In addition, the company
announced a special dividend of 28 cents per share. The 125-year
anniversary special dividend will be paid on May 30, 2014 to
shareholders of record on Mar 21, 2014.
The company forecasts earnings before interest and tax (EBIT)
margin for full-year 2014 to be above 20% in the U.S.A and Europe
Fibre Cement segment, led by improvement in the underlying market
demand and better financial performance.
Moreover, management expects the operating environment in
Australia to improve modestly. The New Zealand business is
projected to deliver improved results on the back of a stronger
local housing market, particularly in Auckland and Christchurch.
In addition, James Hardie Industries will benefit from the
expected recovery in the U.S. housing market. However,
uncertainty in the U.S. operating environment will adversely
impact the company's margin.
James Hardie Industries currently holds a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
Other Stocks to Consider
Investors interested in the same sector include
Gibraltar Industries, Inc.
United Rentals, Inc.
). While Gibraltar Industries sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong
Buy), USG Corporation and United Rentals have a Zacks Rank #2
JAMES HARDI-ADR (JHX): Free Stock Analysis
GIBRALTAR INDUS (ROCK): Free Stock Analysis
UTD RENTALS INC (URI): Free Stock Analysis
USG CORP (USG): Free Stock Analysis Report
To read this article on Zacks.com click here.