Obama's Infrastructure Proposal: Stimulus Package to Nowhere?

Includes: CAT, CBI, CX, MTRX
by: Carlos Portocarrero

Remember when you got a check earlier this year thanks to the stimulus package that gave everyone an automatic tax rebate? That was cool, but that was before the economy fell off the face of the earth.

You might be thinking: Since things are even worse, don’t we deserve some more money? Well, now there’s talk of another stimulus package, only it might not be as exciting as the first.

While there’s still a chance we’ll all just get another round of checks, some politicians are taking a broader view.

Obama’s most recent proposal would increase infrastructure spending—that’s all our highways, bridges, and other public works. It would be the largest spending program in half a century. This would be a sort of multi-pronged attack on the lagging economy: theoretically, this plan would create jobs, put more money into the economy, and improve a crumbling infrastructure.

Even a Nobel prize winner thinks it’s a good idea. I mean, do we really need more bridge-collapsing tragedies to drive this point home?

Democrats have pushed the idea of a faux stimulus by investing in infrastructure projects that have been approved and are simply awaiting funding. And there are around $18 billion worth of projects like that on the table—that’s a whole lotta spending, especially in this economy.

So who could come out ahead if an infrastructure stimulus gets done?

  • Cemex (NYSE:CX): You need cement to build just about anything, and Mexico-based CEMEX is one of the world’s biggest cement companies. Bring on those trucks with the spinny things on the back!
  • Chicago Bridge & Iron Company (NYSE:CBI): This engineering and construction company also builds power plants and offshore platforms.
  • Matrix Service Co (NASDAQ:MTRX): Matrix constructs stuff like storage tanks and other special constructions for energy-related companies. They’re also into maintenance projects.
  • Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT): You probably know this Illinois-based company more for its diesel engines and industrial gas turbines, but Caterpillar also makes tractors, pipe layers, and other construction equipment.

If this so-called “stimulus” package is approved, a whole lot of players in the construction industry are likely to see an uptick in business. Let’s just hope they don’t start building bridges to nowhere.

Disclosure: no positions