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Simpson Manufacturing at 52-Week High on Solid Prospects

Shares of manufacturer of building construction products Simpson Manufacturing Co., Inc. SSD hit a new 52-week high of $38.50 on Apr 13, 2016, before closing the trading session a tad lower at $38.48.

In fact, the stock has been rising steadily ever since the company reported its fourth-quarter 2015 results on Feb 4, 2016. Simpson Manufacturing has delivered a year-to-date return of 10.1%. Average volume of shares traded over the last 3 months is approximately 155K.

Growth Drivers

Simpson Manufacturing’s earnings per share surged 43% year over year to 30 cents for the fourth quarter of 2015 from 21 cents reported in the year-ago period. Net sales improved 10.9% to $184.8 million from $166.6 million in fourth-quarter. The year-over-year upside was driven by 15.4% growth at the North America segment, thanks to the improvement in housing starts and increased construction activity. This momentum is expected to fuel growth in the upcoming quarters as well.

Meanwhile, Simpson Manufacturing remains focused on its overall growth strategy of pursuing improvements and acquisitions. The company is currently looking for synergistic acquisition targets, primarily in the fasteners and concrete repair space in North America and Europe. Capital expenditure in 2016 is expected in the $33–$35 million range.

Simpson Manufacturing is also trying to cut its R&D, engineering, selling and administration expenses as a percent of sales. This figure stood at 31.5% this year, compared to 32.2% last year. Going ahead, the company plans to continue monitoring operations in an attempt to reduce operating expenses.

Simpson Manufacturing has immense financial strength and looks forward to capturing opportunities in the building products range, where it can benefit from its expertise in engineering, testing, manufacturing and distribution, to drive business growth. Also, the company continues to focus on shareholder returns. It intends to use future share repurchase authorizations to provide dividend hikes.

Stocks to Consider

Simpson Manufacturing currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Better-ranked companies in the building and construction space include Gibraltar Industries, Inc. ROCK, Headwaters Incorporated HW and Masco Corporation MAS While Gibraltar Industries and Headwaters sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Masco carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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MASCO (MAS): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
HEADWATERS INC (HW): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
SIMPSON MFG INC (SSD): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
GIBRALTAR INDUS (ROCK): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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