The share price of leading building and construction materials supplier Boral Limited (ASX: BLD) has rallied 1.5% to $5.22 by lunchtime today. The gains are in stark contrast to the 1.3% thumping the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) has experienced.

Boral’s rally is in response to the release of the group’s interim profit results.

Here are the key points:

  • Revenues fell 4% to $2.2 billion
  • Underlying net profit after tax soared 23% to $137 million
  • Underlying earnings per share leapt 28% to 18.2 cps
  • Net debt was approximately $1 billion at balance date
  • A fully franked interim dividend of 11 cents per share (cps) has been declared by the board. In comparison, the interim dividend last year was 8.5 cps. Boral’s shares will trade ex-dividend on February 16 with payment due on March 11.

Outlook:

Boral’s solid results for the six months ending December 31 were thanks to improved margins, stronger housing activity in the US and continued strength in Australia.

The Managing Director Mr Mike Kane made the following comments regarding the outlook for each of the group’s divisions for the remainder of the financial year (FY)…

  • Construction materials and cement are expected to deliver a marginal improvement in earnings compared with FY 2015
  • Building products are also expected to deliver a marginal improvement year-on-year thanks to continued strength in the East Coast housing market
  • Boral gypsum is expected to deliver further improvements thanks to strong activity in Australia coupled with solid cost and price discipline
  • Boral USA is expected to further increase earnings due to increased housing activity.

Given the upbeat assessment provided by management, investor attention will no doubt now turn to Boral’s peers Adelaide Brighton Ltd. (ASX: ABC), Brickworks Limited (ASX: BKW) and Fletcher Building Limited (Australia) (ASX: FBU) which are also due to report results this month.

What would YOU do if the market crashed tomorrow?

Could a property market follow a share market crash? If so property and building related stocks like Boral might not be the best shares to own...Discover our Foolish experts' advice on what YOU should do in the event of a crisis -- simply click here for your FREE copy of our newly updated report, "What to Do When the Sharemarket Crashes". Click here, it's FREE!.

HOT OFF THE PRESSES: Motley Fool’s #1 Dividend Pick for 2017!

With its shares up 155% in just the last five years, this ‘under the radar’ consumer favourite is both a hot growth stock AND our expert’s #1 dividend pick for 2017. Now we’re pulling back the curtain for you... And all you have to do to discover the name, code and a full analysis is enter your email below!

Simply enter your email now to receive your copy of our brand-new FREE report, “The Motley Fool’s Top Dividend Stock for 2017.”

By clicking this button, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. We will use your email address only to keep you informed about updates to our website and about other products and services we think might interest you. You can unsubscribe from Take Stock at anytime. Please refer to our https://www.fool.com.au/financial-services-guide">Financial Services Guide (FSG) for more information.

Motley Fool contributor Tim McArthur has no position in any stocks mentioned. Unless otherwise noted, the author does not have a position in any stocks mentioned by the author in the comments below. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.