Monday, February 8, 2010

Utility Infrastructure: Addressing the Aging Electric and Water Systems (ABB; BGC; PWR)

The three I'm most interested in are ABB, General Cable and Quanta. Although there's no immediate catalyst to greater-than-market returns right now they are on the screen.
From Equities Magazine via NASDAQ:

While the U.S. population in general continues to be enamored by the constant stream of new technology “toys” being offered on a daily basis, they pay little attention to the technology that powers the gadgets—the nation’s electric grid.

And while they spend untold millions of dollars a year on bottled water to drink—which, science is now showing, is often no safer than tap water and thousands of times more expensive, not to mention the ecological disaster of the discarded plastic bottles—they pay little attention to the water that comes into their homes for cooking, showering, and washing clothes and dishes.

In sum, people take the electric grid and the water infrastructure for granted. There is a serious problem with this thinking. These infrastructures were designed for lives of 40 to 50 years, but are both now 100 years old in certain parts of the country. The electric grid is collapsing over our heads, and the water infrastructure is disintegrating below our feet.
Governments, businesses and the public in general are finally starting to take notice, though, and they don’t like what they see. Despite the fact that they would like to continue to use money for more “fun” things, it is becoming increasingly evident that money absolutely must be spent on utility infrastructure. It’s much like the homeowners who enjoy spending discretionary income on remodeling and decorating projects, only to find that their homes’ foundations are cracking and must be repaired.

According to John Rogers, CFA, senior vice president and managing director of institutional research for D.A. Davidson & Co., things are on the move. “Much of the federal stimulus packages have been targeted at upgrading various types of infrastructure, such as roads and grids,” he says. In addition, according to Rogers, it seems that there is more “political will” and interest in spending on infrastructure. “Politicians in particular are getting more interested in funding some of it,” he notes....MORE

By William Atkinson

HT: Dr. Hazlett at The Climate + Energy Project.