Mexico's Cemex (NYSE:CX) expects to buck the U.S. housing trend this year. Fresh from its newly completed acquisition of Australian cement and related products manufacturer Rinker, Cemex is forecasting that its sales in the U.S. -- its largest market -- will grow by about 5% this year.

Having completed the lengthy process of obtaining Rinker for $15.3 billion last week, Cemex is now reversing an earlier forecast that it would check in with a 4% revenue slide in the United States this year. In its after-earnings conference call, the company said the difference will result from the added volumes that will be generated for Cemex by Rinker, which obtains most of its revenues in the U.S.

For its second quarter, Cemex, which is the world's third-largest cement maker behind Lafarge (NYSE:LR) of France and Switzerland's Holcim, grew its year-over-year earnings by 5.5% to $611 million, vs. $579 million in the June 2006 quarter. Revenues were up 6% to $4.9 billion.

So here's where I come out on Cemex and its operations, Fools. While there do remain a few domestically headquartered cement producers, including Eagle Materials (NYSE:EXP), Texas Industries (NYSE:TXI), and Florida Rock (NYSE:FRK), more than 80% of U.S. capacity is now owned overseas. Cemex, for instance, is clearly a major international producer, although nearly 20% of its revenues in the quarter were generated in the U.S. -- and that's before the Rinker acquisition.

On that basis, Cemex is able even to absorb U.S. declines and still grow earnings through strength in other parts of the world. I, therefore, view the company as an excellent way to participate in the robust international economy and simultaneously position oneself to benefit from a recovery in U.S. housing when it finally occurs.

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Fool contributor David Lee Smith does not have a position in any of the companies mentioned. He welcomes your comments. Cemex is a recommendation of both Motley Fool Global Gains and Motley Fool Stock Advisor. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.