Nearly everyone knows about the housing market's woes -- and if you don't, fellow Fool Seth Jayson's already covered them in detail. Rather than rehash the doom and gloom, let's focus on how we can profit from the cheaper stock prices in the housing sector. On this optimistic note, there's a strong case for Cemex (NYSE: CX ) , an international cement-maker that has been beaten down by the market -- unfairly, I think -- for its ties to the U.S. housing market.
Cemex is down more than 35% from its summertime high. Of course, that's a pittance compared to the tumbles taken by homebuilders such as D.R. Horton (NYSE: DHI ) , KB Home (NYSE: KBH ) , Pulte Homes (NYSE: PHM ) , and Lennar (NYSE: LEN ) . The fates of American homebuilders are fairly obviously tied to our residential housing market. Cemex? Not so much.
For one thing, the company's U.S. operations provide cement for both commercial and residential construction. More importantly, the United States is just one part of Mexico-based Cemex's global reach. Last quarter, U.S. sales accounted for only 28% of Cemex's worldwide revenue. Like high-flying oven-maker Middleby (Nasdaq: MIDD ) , Cemex acquires smaller, less efficiently run operations, then quickly improves their financials. It has significant operations in more than 50 countries, on every continent except Antarctica.
Have I mentioned the company's 100-year history? Its 2.9% dividend yield, which screams, "We're flush with cash"? Or its exceptionally well-run operations? Alluding to its cutthroat pricing and efficient supply chain, our globetrotting guru Bill Mann called Cemex "the Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT ) of cement" in his Motley Fool Global Gains newsletter.
Any company earning comparisons Wal-Mart and Middleby -- the latter of which has risen more than 1,400% over the past five years -- deserves Foolish further research. Given the shares' recent pummeling, why not start now? See how your fellow Fools rate Cemex at our free Motley Fool CAPS website. Or better yet, do your own research and rate it yourself!
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