Gibraltar Industries: Zacks’ Bull of the Day Play

Gibraltar Industries (ROCKAnalyst Report) is a $1.2 billion manufacturer and distributor of metal building products for the industrial, infrastructure and residential markets.

The stock is part of a strong building and construction sub-industry ranked in the top 25% of all Zacks industries and including Caesar Stone (CSTESnapshot Report) , United Rentals (URISnapshot Report) , and Trex Company (TREXSnapshot Report) .

ROCK is North America’s leading manufacturer of ventilation products, mail storage solutions including mailboxes and package delivery products, bar grating, expansion joints and structural bearings, plus ground mounted solar racking and commercial greenhouses.

The company is divided into three reporting segments: Industrial and Infrastructure Products, Residential Products and Solar Mounting and Commercial Greenhouses.

Pedal to the Metal

Gibraltar (ROCKAnalyst Report) has had quite a run this year, up over 50% YTD. I first wrote about the stock as a Bull of the Day when it was a Zacks #1 Rank in early December and trading in the mid-$20s.

Here’s what I said then…

As residential and commercial construction markets have stepped on the gas this year, Gibraltar has benefited greatly. In the company’s recent Q3 earnings report, net sales for the third quarter of 2015 increased 30 percent to $305.0 million, compared with $234.1 million in the third quarter of 2014.

Adjusted net income was $15.7 million, or $0.50 per diluted share, compared with $9.5 million, or $0.30 per diluted share, in the third quarter of 2014.

That $0.50 EPS represented the company’s sixth consecutive earnings beat. Analysts have scrambled to catch up to ROCK’s earnings growth by raising their estimates.

What’s changed since that earnings report?

Not much. Construction markets are still strong. And how about 3 more earnings beats for the ROCK — two of them by over 100%! Plus, analysts are still scrambling to raise estimates.

In the past 60 days, the full-year 2016 consensus rose from $1.38 to $1.44 and 2017 profit projections rose from $1.54 to $1.65.

Also worth noting in Q2, Goldman Sachs added 970,000 shares of ROCK to their portfolios.

Global Metal ROCK-er

Gibraltar operates facilities in the United States, Canada, England and Germany.

In the Industrial and Infrastructure Products segment, Gibraltar is the self-described market leader in the fabrication of metal bar grating that is used in the oil and gas, manufacturing, chemical processing and leisure/sports park markets. The company also claims leadership in engineered bearings and joints used in bridge construction, roads, and airport runways.

It seems that the company’s diverse product segments and lines and international markets has shielded it from the downturn in oil & gas industry construction needs.

Gibraltar also has a leading position in the production of expanded and perforated metal which is used in a wide variety of applications within commercial construction, transportation and petrochemical markets.

In the Residential Products segment, Gibraltar serves the ventilation and air management market with a variety of roof, foundation and interior ventilation products, plus rain dispersion and outdoor comfort products. It also provides postal and parcel solutions for single and multi-family residences and large and small commercial centers. These products include single unit mailboxes, centralized mailboxes and electronic package lockers.

Going Green is Nothing New

A Gibraltar subsidiary, Rough Brothers Inc., has designed, manufactured and installed educational and commercial greenhouses, garden centers and conservatories since 1932. Their sole focus is building the custom greenhouses and conservatories that help commercial growers, retail garden centers, research facilities, universities and schools throughout the country.

RBI Solar, a sister company of Rough Brothers, designs, manufactures and installs solar mounting systems for commercial and utility scale solar projects. As a specialist in ground mount, roof mount, landfill and custom designed specialty solar structures, RBI provides best-in-class solar racking solutions and project management capabilities to serve project developers and system integrators.

Historically over 90% of the public conservatories in the United States were built by a firm called Lord & Burnham. To expand and enhance their conservatory design capabilities, in 1988 Rough Brothers acquired Lord & Burnham’s drawings, design details and equipment. As the company says, “This is just one more tool that allows Rough Brothers to deliver the precise and pristine detail requirements of conservatory and greenhouse construction, whether for new or historic greenhouse and conservatory restoration.”

The ROCK Bottom Line is Green Too

If you are looking for an investment to play the booming construction markets, this well-diversified small cap with strong double-digit EPS growth projected into next year should be at the top of your list.

Disclosure: I own ROCK shares for the Zacks Tactical Trader portfolio.

Now, which stocks should you sell?

As a Zacks Rank #1 Strong Buy, this Bull of the Day deserves consideration. But today there are 220 Zacks Rank #5 Strong Sells that demand even more urgent attention. If any of these are lurking in your portfolio, they should be removed immediately. Since 1988, such stocks have actually performed more than 11X worse than the S&P 500. See all Zacks Strong Sells and Strong Buys absolutely free >>.


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