Continued signs of life in the residential housing market helped construction aggregate producer Martin Marietta Materials (NYSE: MLM ) achieve growth on both its top and bottom lines in the third quarter of this year. Combine this macro strengthening with internal productivity gains, and you're left with a 21% sales increase over last year.
Moving forward, continued strength in the residential housing market should continue to pull Martin Marietta higher. Both new-home starts and residential permits have finally reached levels not seen since June 2008. This news is especially positive for Martin Marietta and its peers, such as Texas Industries (NYSE: TXI ) and Vulcan Materials (NYSE: VMC ) , because non-residential construction usually follows residential spending's lead. If this trend plays out, investors in this sector could be witnessing the beginning of a nice move north of current share prices.
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Another company that stands to benefit from an uptick in non-residential construction is Caterpillar. It is the market-share leader in an industry in which size matters, and its quality products, extensive service network, and unparalleled brand strength combine to give it solid competitive advantages. Read all about Caterpillar's strengths and weaknesses in our brand-new report. Just click here to access it now.