Nearly two full years after issuing my first plea for investors to run (as fast as their feet could take them) from stocks exposed to the residential construction markets, I'm checking back in to make sure Fools still have their running shoes on.
Highlighting the potential pitfalls of investing in this sector at present, the highly dynamic interpretations of the construction industry outlook by analysts yielded expectations for CEMEX ranging from a loss of $80 million, to a profit of $61 million. If those who supposedly know the company best are this confounded, how is an average investor to make heads of tails of the company's real profitability prospects?
Uninspiring signals from the U.S. construction market are consistently corroborated through every available window. Wallboard manufacturer USG
Die-hard fans of CEMEX are undoubtedly preparing to counter this bearish assessment by referencing the lone piece of positive news in the company's earnings release. CEMEX scored a set of adjustments to its financing agreement to help buy some more time from its creditors. Meanwhile, even the $300 million repaid on its debt during the third quarter failed to overcome the impact of currency-related revaluation of that remaining debt.
Just as I can always anticipate the stampede of perturbed feedback when I share my deep reservations concerning dry bulker DryShips
My only reminder to Fools is that successful stock picking involves identifying companies with the best prospects for growth and profitability within their respective sectors. In the case of CEMEX, not to mention the above-referenced dry bulker, I simply perceive a sea of better opportunities vying for Foolish attention. For a stock that will stand to gain once construction activity eventually improves, but possesses a range of healthy revenue streams in the meantime, try taking a close look at Brookfield Infrastructure Partners
In the race to prove itself a better stock to hold, which do you predict will emerge victorious between CEMEX and Brookfield Infrastructure Partners? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below, and add your pick to your Motley Fool CAPS portfolio today.