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Construction Industry Gains Momentum: Job Opportunities Abound

Key Points

  • The latest report on United States employment points to a significant chunk going into construction jobs,
  • Armed with this list of winner names, you can play the wave from start to finish, boosting your returns significantly.
  • High profits and momentum at a discount sounds like a can’t-miss opportunity.
  • 5 stocks we like better than Barclays

When an industry decides to go on a hiring spree, you better bet on the respective firms’ overall management to expect a surge of demand – and, therefore, profits – coming right around the corner. How can you get ahead of the trend and catch this early wave in a world full of data?

You can head over to the Employment Situation Summary report, provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics every month (also known as the NFP report), and digest all the tables that come with it. Or, you can rely on your neighborhood-friendly MarketBeat feed to save a ton of time and number crunching.

You can take this statistic to the bank. Out of the 336 thousand jobs added, a significant chunk of 11 thousand (or 3.3%) went straight into construction, namely residential buildings. On a net addition basis, only some other industries come close to this one, so it is worth looking at a strategy for riding the coming activity momentum.

Builders FirstSource 

Before anything even gets approved for construction or a project gets underway, builders need to set a proper budget for materials to get their proformas and banks to give them a construction loan. With this in mind, Builders FirstSource NYSE: BLDR stands in the front of the line for profit reaping.

Without the momentum of jobs and demand coming into the scene, this stock sports an average ROIC (return on invested capital) of roughly 23%. This metric is critical for a value play since stock performance mimics ROIC over the long term.

The market seems disconnected from the approaching freight train, considering the stock has entered what Wall Street defines as a ‘bear market,’ as it has declined over 24% from its 52-week high; providing an attractive discount.

According to the company’s latest 10-Q filing, containing the second quarter 2023 results, revenues suffered a 34.6% decline. However, this may be better considering the real estate cycle may have found its bottom cylce.

Tied directly to the past twelve months of United States building permits activity, revenues are set to recover shortly as permits are looking to rebound in the coming quarter. This may explain the latest vote of confidence coming from management insiders.

Diving into the company’s financials, you can find out that management allocated up to $1.4 billion to buy back the stock, giving markets the ultimate vote of confidence into a potential undervaluation of the company.

Additionally, analysts are coming together to agree on a $149.7 price target for this company, further amplifying the upside insiders have already spotted, with a net 26.2% upside from today’s prices. 


Once builders have the budget for materials or have them on hand to begin construction, profits float to this value chain section. Sporting a similar – though less severe – discount of 15%, PulteGroup NYSE: PHM serves as the second piece to this three-piece puzzle.

New orders were reported to have risen by as much as 24% to 7,947 homes for a value of $4.3 billion, a figure which will be converted into revenue once the projects are finished and sold. Backlog, on the other hand, that’s a different level. 

Unit backlog came in at 13,558 homes for a total value of $8.2 billion, massively pushing the upside potential for the developer and encouraging analysts to give it some favorable ratings.

With a consensus price target of $86.3 a share, an implied upside of 18% from today’s prices is not bad for a link in this construction wave chain.

Despite the momentum the stock has seen in 2023, it is still relatively cheap at a 6.0x P/E multiple, which pales compared to its pre-pandemic valuation of up to 20.0x. 

Equity Residential 

As one of the strong suites of REITs, dividends are at the front and center for the final piece in this strategy. Currently offering a 4.4% dividend yield on top of one of the lowest price-to-book valuations since COVID-19 sell-offs.

With an inflation-beating dividend yield, alongside a net upside of 13.3% from today’s prices, according to analysts’ of $68.0 a share, this is one surefire way to boost your portfolio for the coming industry activity.

What’s more, you can consider an acquisition of this REIT near its 52-week low prices, where companies like Barclays NYSE: BCS were keen enough to increase their stakes by as much as 68.4%.

Before you consider Barclays, you’ll want to hear this.

MarketBeat keeps track of Wall Street’s top-rated and best performing research analysts and the stocks they recommend to their clients on a daily basis. MarketBeat has identified the five stocks that top analysts are quietly whispering to their clients to buy now before the broader market catches on… and Barclays wasn’t on the list.

While Barclays currently has a “Moderate Buy” rating among analysts, top-rated analysts believe these five stocks are better buys.

View The Five Stocks Here

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