Instead the dough went to puppet theaters and public sector jobs.
Now I know the problems of actually building productive assets and I know the differences between now and the 1930's when construction was much more labor intensive and you would get more jobs-bang for the buck.
And I know the problems with permitting and approvals that move any fast-track project into the far right lane.
Enough bleating, here's Barron's Hot Research:
Sterne Agee upgraded the infrastructure firm to Buy from Neutral.
General Cable (BGC: NYSE)
By Sterne Agee & Leach ($25.68, Aug. 3, 2010)
WE ARE UPGRADING General Cable (ticker: BGC) to Buy from Neutral and maintaining our $33 price target based on about 10 times 2012 earnings per share of $3.25.
While second-quarter 2010 volumes were below expectations, we are encouraged by General Cable's ongoing mix shift to Emerging Markets with exposure to Transmission spending in Brazil, Mining activity in both North and South America and exposure to faster-growth economies in Southeast Asia. In short, we think North America recovers slowly (about 2% volume growth modeled in 2011 and 2012), Europe excluding normal seasonality does not materially worsen and rest-of-world (ROW) continues to high single-digit to low double-digit volume growth. While excess industry capacity is likely to continue to put pressure on margins in developed markets in the near to intermediate term, we think this is largely known and discounted.
Second-quarter 2010 summary: On an adjusted basis operating income was $74 million versus our Street-high estimate of $68 million. General Cable reported non-GAAP EPS of 54 cents, in line with guidance. Excluding 17 cents of nonrecurring items, operating EPS was 71 cents versus our Street-high estimate of 65 cents. Volume in North America was below internal expectations as a result of MRO (maintenance, repair and operations), OEM (original-equipment manufacturers) and Networking slowing in May and June and volume within ROW segment was below internal expectations due to Transmission project delays in Brazil.
General Cable currently has $150 million in orders for Transmission projects in Brazil with deliveries expected to occur between late 2010 and 2012.
Our third-quarter EPS estimate of 47 cents (versus prior estimate of 55 cents) is within guidance of 43 cents-55 cents. Volumes in the third quarter are expected to be flat versus the second quarter with North America flat, Europe down, and ROW up 10%. We are adjusting our 2010 and 2011 EPS estimates from $2.15 and $2.50, respectively, to $2.09 and $2.45, respectively, and we are establishing a 2012 EPS estimate of $3.25.Also at Hot Research:
-- Michael J. Coleman
-- Nicholas P. Heymann
-- Paul A. Dircks
Meanwhile the executive director of the puppet theater was quoted as saying ""An employed artist is as valuable as an employed computer programmer, employed plumber, employed contractor, employed construction worker."
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