LONDON, January 24, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
The Portland Cement Association (PCA) expects strong growth in cement consumption in 2013 due to improving economic fundamentals, pent-up demand and diminished economic uncertainty. The strong growth in cement consumption should benefit companies such as CEMEX S.A.B. de C.V. (NYSE: CX) and Texas Industries Inc. (NYSE: TXI). Analysts at StockCall.com released two comprehensive research reports on CEMEX and Texas Industries which can be accessed for free by signing up now at http://www.stockcall.com/technicalanalysis
Cement Consumption Growth to be driven by Residential Construction
The PCA, which represents cement companies in the U.S. and Canada, forecasts an 8.1% growth in cement consumption in 2013. The growth forecast has been upwardly revised after the recent fiscal cliff deal, which ended a great deal of uncertainty. Improving economic fundamentals and bullish outlook for residential construction activity in the U.S. also led to the upward revision in cement consumption growth forecasts.
Residential construction activity in the U.S., in fact, is expected to be the biggest driver of growth in 2013 cement consumption. According to a report released by the Commerce Department last week, housing starts rose 12.1% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 954,000 units in December, which is the highest level since June 2008. Given the ongoing improvement in the housing market, it is no surprise that the outlook for cement consumption is bullish.
The PCA excepts cement consumption growth to pick up in the second quarter. For 2014, cement consumption growth is forecast at 8.3%.
Recent economic data from China, including last week's better-than-forecast GDP numbers, is also a good sign for cement companies. However, the biggest concern is Europe. According to data released by Eurostat, construction output in the euro zone fell 0.4% in November. Construction output in the European Union, meanwhile, fell 0.9%.
Weakness in Europe a Worry for CEMEX
Weakness in Europe is a major concern for CEMEX as the company derives a significant portion of its revenue from the region. While robust economic growth in Mexico, CEMEX's home market, and the U.S. augur well for the company, Europe remains a worry. StockCall technical report on CEMEX S.A.B. de C.V. is accessible for free at http://www.StockCall.com/CX012413.pdf
Another concern for CEMEX is the company's debt load. The company has already taken steps to address this issue though. Last month, CEMEX announced that it completed its financial plan for 2012. Under the plan, the company refinanced and/or prepaid debt scheduled to mature through 2014.
Fernando Gonzalez, Executive Vice President of Finance and Administration, last month said that during 2012, the company took decisive steps to improve its debt maturity profile and strengthen its capital structure and the company is now not only in a better shape financially, but also much more agile and flexible operationally.
CEMEX will release its fourth quarter results on February 03rd.
Texas Industries Narrows Loss
Earlier this month, Texas Industries Inc. [Free Research Report for TXI]  reported its second quarter financial results. The company's loss in the second quarter narrowed as sales rose.
Texas Industries reported a loss of $11.1 million, or $0.40 per share for the second quarter, compared to a loss of $21 million, or $0.75 per share reported for the same period in the previous year.
The company's revenue from cement business rose 18% to $91.4 million in the quarter.