Cie. de Saint-Gobain SA and CRH Plc were among European building material suppliers upgraded by Credit Suisse Group AG, which citied a possible U.S. housing recovery this year.
Both Saint-Gobain and Dublin-based CRH were raised to “outperform” from “neutral,” while Greece’s Titan Cement Co. was upgraded to “neutral” from “underperform” in a note published by London-based Credit Suisse analysts Arnaud Lehmann and Harry Goad today. The analysts also raised their recommendation on the building-materials industry to “overweight” from “underweight.”
The prospect that U.S. homebuilding will reach bottom in 2009 is being bolstered by recent data on housing starts, unsold property levels, affordability and industry and consumer confidence, Lehmann and Goad said. “If firm evidence of a U.S. housing market recovery emerges, we can have a certain amount of confidence that a new cycle in terms of global construction is beginning,” they said.