Trinity: Invest in Infrastructure

05/08/2015 8:00 am EST

Focus: STOCKS

Stephen Leeb

Founder and Research Chairman, Leeb Group

Virtually every major country around the globe can measure its infrastructure requirements in trillions of dollars, asserts Stephen Leeb, editor of The Complete Investor.

Even a country as developed as the US has a multi-trillion-dollar need for new highways, a smart electrical grid, and refurbished water pipes.

The American Society of Civil Engineers estimates the US needs to spend more than $3 trillion in the next few years to get our infrastructure to a reasonably acceptable level.

The need for infrastructure—which also has the potential to generate a lot of growth and jobs—is one of the few things Republicans and Democrats actually agree on, making it a decent bet that Congress, whether during this Administration or the next, will ultimately pass a major infrastructure-spending bill.

Until then, though, expect to dig a bit deeper into your pocket at the tollbooth. Of all the major infrastructure categories, highways require the greatest expenditures, and the states can’t wait for Washington to act.

Most stocks benefiting from greater infrastructure spending are major multinationals. Trinity Industries (TRN) is an exception.

Its products and services are dedicated to the US, while it still has one of the most diversified infrastructure product lines of any company, big or small. Trinity’s major business is the manufacture and leasing of railcars.

But it also is a leading provider of construction materials such as cement, concrete, and sand, a manufacturer of barges, a provider of highway products, and a leading North American producer of wind towers.

In other words, this is a company strongly leveraged to gains in US infrastructure spending of almost any kind. The downside for growth investors is that Trinity tends to be cyclical…sometimes highly cyclical.

But its compelling value credentials, which include a projected free-cash-flow yield of nearly 10%, a single-digit current P/E, and relatively low price to book make it a terrific bet on increased infrastructure spending in this country.

In the next 12 months, or so, the stock could easily test or exceed its previous highs of 50. And beyond 2016-17, if America really gets serious about what it needs to do, Trinity could emerge as a major market leader.

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