The Housing Boom Could Send This Stock 50% Higher

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One of the first things aday trader learns is how to locate the rightstock . 

A time-proven and popular method is to look at thestocks and themes that are hot in the news. The trick, however, is not to trade these hot stocks, but to look for similar companies or complimentary industries.

The theory is that other stocks within the same industry or themewill soon follow.

While this is a standard stock-locating procedure for day traders, I like to apply it to the long term. As I've recently said inreal estate is hot right now. Prices are climbing across the globe and builders, real estateinvestment trusts and associated businesses are riding thewave higher.

[Also read: " Why This Little-Known Company Bought 16,000 Homes ."]

So when I was looking for stocks surrounding this hot sector, I realized building products would likely benefit from this boom. And no product is more widely used than wood, when it comes to construction.

This idea guided me to one of the world's largest lumber and wood product companies, Weyerhaeuser ( WY )

Not only is Weyerhaeuser a leading timber company, but it's also involved in real estate. In fact, the company closed on 764 new homes during the second quarter of 2012 alone. Itsbacklog of sold, but unclosed homes has ramped up more than 50% in the past year. This is the kind of smartdiversification that distinguishes great companies from the merely good ones.

After taking a quick look at the company's stock chart, I almost fell out of my chair. Weyerhaeuser has been in a solid uptrend since January 2012, when the price broke above the50-day moving average . In fact, since this past August, the share price has soared more than 50% to more than $30 in a steady climb higher. 

Take a look for yourself...

With this amazing performance and the underlying economic growth drivers, I had to take a closer look at this company. Here's what I discovered...

Weyerhaeuser harvests more than 6 million acres of wood-producing timberland.EBITDA for the timber business is calculated on a per-acrebasis and the company's EBITDA comes in at $80 per acre, beating its competitors Rayonier ( RYN ) , at $56 per acre, and Plum Creek Timber ( PCL ) at $37 per acre. 

After the stellar share performance in 2012, all eyes were on the company'searnings released on Friday, Jan. 25. The earnings estimates had been steadily rising during the past month, from 16 cents a share to the present 19 cents. It turned out the company beat these estimates by alot -- posting earnings of 26 cents a share in the fourth quarter of 2012, an incredible 116% increase from the year-ago quarter.Revenue for 2012 came in at $7.1 billion, a 14.5% increase from 2011.

Showing a vote of confidence, the company increased its quarterlydividend from 15 cents to 17 cents a share during the fourth quarter of 2012, creating ayield of a little more than 2%. 

Risks to Consider: Weyerhaeuser is very connected to theeconomy , namely the building and real estate markets. I think the boom has started to reignite in the global buildingmarket , but no one knows for certain what the future holds.

Action to Take -->  I really like this company as a fundamental and momentum play at the current level. My target price is $45 a share within the next 18 months.

Further Reading:
Renter Nation: The Incredible Housing Story Nobody Is Talking About

Now May be The Best Opportunity in a Generation to Buy Real Estate

Why The Rest of the World is Pouring Billions Into the U.S. Real Estate Market

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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This article appears in: Investing , Investing Ideas , Stocks
Referenced Symbols: PCL , RYN , WY

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