On the old “open outcry” trading floors, all of the major stocks had nicknames. CSR was known as “Sugars”, reflecting its then main game of refining and selling sugar. Now, you’d struggle to sweeten your tea with anything from CSR, as it’s all about building products.

That’s why it’s hard to explain its recent underperformance. While the broad market dropped around 17%, Sugars almost doubled that tumble, dropping more than 30%. Headlines like last week’s “Tsunami of Apartments” could be dampening sentiment, but only if you forget about houses, factories, office buildings etc. You’d also need to supress the memory of all those housing-market-disaster calls that have so far proved wrong.

Yesterday’s Q2 house price data once again stomped all over expectations with a 4.2% rise. Demand in housing, as measured by prices, is clearly stronger than market expectations. Building approvals have also run ahead. While Sugars has aluminium and property exposures, it is still leveraged to building activity. CSR is trading on 10.5x forward earnings, and has a cash dividend yield of around 7% (no franking). Now, take a look at the long term support level around $3.15:

20150922 csr

From a long term investment point of view CSR looks like a buy to me. From a trading point of view, a move back over $3.15 could be the trigger for a long trade.