The industrial goods sector has been on the move along with the broader markets since early March. The Industrial Select Sector SPDR (NYSE:XLI) is now even on the year after rallying 53% since March 6. In this sector there have been several noteworthy performers, and we'll look at four such stocks that are on the rise.
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On Wednesday, the mining equipment maker Joy Global (Nasdaq:JOYG) checked in with a 77.3% year-over-year increase in diluted EPS on a 10% pop in net sales compared to last year's Q2. Joy Global benefitted from China's record levels of copper importing during the quarter. Shares of Joy Global were trading up 5.9% in early afternoon trading action on June 4. However, there is some reason for concern among shareholders, as company management noted that over the last three quarters it has received $300 million in order cancellations as the result of a weakening economy.
Another equipment maker that has seen its stock price fluctuate along with the price of commodities has been Flowserve (NYSE:FLS). The company, which makes fluid and motion-control products, is coming off of a record Q1 in which quarterly EPS grew by 8% on a 3% rise in sales. The stock is up 58% so far this year. Flowserve has forewarned of headwinds on the horizon. Bookings were down 32% in Q1 due to a downturn in the oil and gas industries. Fortunately, with commodity prices on the rebound, so are shares of Flowserve. Investors can hope that this past quarter was only a bump in the road in terms of bookings. (For more on the mining industry, check out Industry Handbook: Precious Metals.)
The metal products manufacturer Precision Castparts (NYSE:PCP) is still recovering from a strike at Boeing (NYSE:BA), an end-user of its products. Precision Castparts saw its sales drop slightly in its most recent quarter, but the company's operating margins have remained strong. The firm's stock price has soared nearly 50% year-to-date.
After hitting a 52-week low in early March, construction services company Foster Wheeler (Nasdaq:FWLT) shares have battled back to the tune of 120%. The company has issued a weak outlook for solid-fuel boilers in its North America business segment, but during Q1 the company inked its largest single contract in terms of man hours. Foster Wheeler's engineering and construction group has also noted that it is in pursuit of several very large potential contracts that will make award decisions later on this year.
The Bottom Line
After a rocky start to 2009, the industrial goods sector has appeared to hit its stride. These four stocks have been among the high-flyers in the group. Unless commodity prices begin to slow down, these stocks should continue their recovery. With the volatility the market has experienced with respect to commodity prices over the past year, anything is possible. (To learn on about this industry, see Economic Indicators: Industrial Production.)