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Infrastructure: Power Grids and Bridges
By: JeffreyLin.Net   Thursday, July 31, 2008 5:42 PM
Symbols: ABB, BGC, BUCY, FCX, JOYG, PD, SPSX, SPW, TEX, TGIS, TNB, WGOV
~General Cable 2008 Q2 Earnings Release

In this one move, copper cables now is the dominating business in BGC, and BGC's sales will be mostly international- some 64% in the last quarter. The reserve I have of jumping into BGC is whether they have the ability to grow or has become a large supplier of a commodity for the power grid. I have limited slots for power-grid stocks, and BGC isn't replacing my ABB, WGOV, or SPW yet.

Along the same lines,

South Korean cable maker LS Cable has received regulatory approval from the U.S., Spain and Germany to acquire copper wiring firm Superior Essex and create the third-largest global maker of magnet, communication, industrial and building wire with pro forma consolidated annual revenues of almost $13 billion. ~ LS Cable is Buying Superior Essex, Purchasing.com

Thus, confirming the value of companies supplying power grid components, but many of which are private, international, or subsidiaries of bigger corporations.

BRIDGES

Like the Power Grid story, our road infrastructure repair and upgrade isn't a question of IF, but WHEN. While companies like Terex (TEX) have taken a beating with the rest of the market, understand that a big wave of demand for road construction equipment is coming, and soon.

"A report from the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials estimates that $140 billion is needed today to repair all the nation's bridges. An Associated Press report cites Federal Highway Administration statistics that 152,000 out of the nation's 600,000 bridges are either structurally deficient or functionally obsolete.

Nearly 25% of the nation's bridges need repairs, and the average age of America's bridges is 43 years — seven years shy of the maximum age for which most are designed, according to the "Bridging the Gap" report. One in five U.S. bridges is more than 50 years old." ~Repairing Bridges would cost $140 Billion, Purchasing.com

The U.S. government is good at just focusing on short term problems or worthless issues, but as more roads crack and bridges collapse, there'll be another panic to deal with another crisis, and companies like TEX may benefit more than if these road repairs were done right now. A construction/repair binge would likely cause shortages of equipment just as the mining binge now (from decades of neglect to invest) is causing shortages of Joy Global (JOYG) and Bucyrus (BUCY)'s underground mining equipment.


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