January 5, 2012
Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.
What: Shares of construction materials specialist Texas Industries (NYSE: TXI ) plunged 10% on Thursday after its quarterly results came in well below Wall Street expectations.
So what: Texas Industries shares jumped last month after the company managed to thwart a hostile takeover bid, but the big second-quarter loss -- $0.75 per share versus the consensus of just a $0.61 loss -- serves as a cold reminder of its still-brutal operating environment. While management has been doing a decent job cutting costs, weak demand in the construction sector continues to weigh heavily on the company's bottom line.
Now what: Don't expect a turnaround anytime soon. "While the general economy is showing signs of some improvement, it has yet to manifest itself in increased construction activity in our markets," CEO Mel Brekhus said. "This is consistent with my expectation of a slow and prolonged recovery in the construction industry." When you couple that rather somber outlook with Texas Industries' huge debt load, the stock is pretty easy to stay away from.
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