Buy-Rated Stocks Getting a Direct Boost From the U.S. Housing Recovery (LEN, TOL, HD, LOW, BAC, GE, WY, HON, PIR, BAST, FLXS)

Last month we wrote about the huge rally in the homebuilding stocks since the lows of the stock market in March of 2009. Stocks that were written off for dead like Lennar Corp. (NYSE: LEN) and Toll Brothers Inc. (NYSE: TOL) have had spectacular rallies since then. If homebuilders are back in the business of building new homes then it just makes sense that there must be vendors that sell to those homebuilders that are doing much better as well.

In difficult times like we experienced in the fall of 2008 it’s not unusual for consumers to tighten their belts and close their wallets. Rather than buy a new home they will typically fix, maintain and upgrade their current residence which usually benefits companies like Home Depot Inc. (NYSE: HD) and Lowe’s Companies Inc. (LOW). Both are buy-rated stocks at Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) Merrill Lynch and both are also big beneficiaries of new home construction.

When new homebuilding heats back up like we are experiencing now companies that supply in bulk to the homebuilders are often the big winners. Here are some buy rated stocks we located that are directly benefitting from the surge in new home construction.

Bank of America – Merrill Lynch also ranks General Electric Company as a buy. As one of the top suppliers of appliances to homebuilders it’s not uncommon for them to supply the refrigerator, oven, stove, microwave and dishwasher in a new home. Trading today at $22.40 the Bank of America price target is $25. The Wall Street consensus target is $24.50. Buy rated Weyerhaeuser (NYSE: WY) is one of the companies that provides the much needed lumber for construction. Trading at $30.64 the Bank of America target is $35 while the Wall Street consensus is higher at $36. They also like Honeywell International Inc. (NYSE: HON) and have a $77 price target. Trading today at $68.76, the Thomson/First call consensus is $72.

Mohawk Industries Inc. (NYSE: MHK) together with its subsidiaries, engages in the production and sale of floor covering products for residential and commercial markets for remodeling and new construction primarily in the United States and Europe. Over the past 60 days all nine earnings estimates for Mohawk were revised upwards, which lifted the Zacks Consensus estimates by 1.1% to $3.71. This indicates year over year growth of 26.9%. The estimate for 2013 increased to $4.94 per share a 33.4% year over year increase. Trading today at $103.17 the Wall Street consensus price target is $104.50.

Furniture stores and makers also reap the rewards of new home construction. Buy rated Pier One Imports, Inc. (PIR) is at the top of Bank of Americas list. Trading today at $21.72 they have a $25 target and the Wall Street consensus is $24. Investors may also want to consider furniture makers like Bassett Furniture Industries, Inc. (NASDAQ: BSET) and Flexsteel Industries Inc. (NASDAQ: FLXS).

The jump in new home construction not only bodes well for the companies we mentioned, but it also bodes well for the overall economy. The tremendous amount of job creation itself helps to provide an increase in consumer spending. With consumer spending being the largest component in gross domestic product, the industry that sent the economy into a tailspin five years ago might just be the one that helps lift it out.

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