Ahead of the Bell: Engineering and construction

AP News
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Posted: Dec 17, 2009 8:41 AM

Engineering and construction firms may gain from a bill passed by Democrats in the House aimed at spurring job growth.

The Senate will still need to take up the measure next year. But FBR Capital Markets analyst Alex Rygiel said the "Jobs for Main Street Act of 2010," which passed Wednesday, "could could bode well for several engineering and construction contractors" as it directs tax dollars toward infrastructure projects.

In a note to clients, he listed Orion Marine Group Holdings Inc., URS Corp., Granite Construction Inc., Sterling Construction Co., Michael Baker Corp., Tetra Tech Inc., and Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. as potential beneficiaries.

The House bill allocates about $50 billion for public works projects and another $50 billion for state and local governments. The bulk of the money would be redirected from the fund set up to aid Wall Street banks. Not a single Republican voted for the plan, which passed on a 217-212 vote.

Rygiel noted that the bill would "partially assist closing the funding gap that plagues" the Highway Trust Fund. It would allocate $20 billion to keep the fund solvent.

Rygiel cautioned, however, that, "there is no guarantee the Senate will take up a jobs bill, and if it does, the timing is uncertain as health care, financial reform, and climate change appear to be priorities."