Buy One, Get One FreeJeffrey M. Laderman
Want a cement company for free? Buy Texas Industries, which trades on the Big Board at 21. Texas Industries owns a cement company and 80.7% of Chaparral Steel. There are 2.2 shares of Chaparral Steel behind each share of the parent. At a recent price of 10 5/8, that means Texas Industries' steel holdings are worth $23.38 a share. The market puts no value on the cement operation.
Analyst William V. Stephens of Rauscher Pierce Refsnes in Dallas says that won't last. Stephens thinks a pickup in the Texas economy will put upward pressure on cement prices, and he's expecting a 25% increase over the next 12 months, nearly all of which will drop directly to the bottom line.
Chaparral is no slouch, either. It's one of the low-cost producers in structural steel that has been wooing clients from big steel companies for years, and it stayed profitable through the recession. Texas Industries' fiscal year ends in May, and Stephens thinks it will earn only 9 a share. But he's forecasting $1.68 for fiscal 1993 and a huge $4.80 in fiscal 1994. He says the stock could double in the next two years.