US Concrete: Paving Profits
11/23/2016 8:00 am EST
Investors can pave their way to profits with this maker of ready-mix cement, gravel and additives used in road and bridge building, as well as in the construction of high-rise commercial and residential skyscrapers, asserts Linda McDonough, editor of Growth Stock Strategist.
U.S. Concrete (USCR) operates in a local business, as concrete begins to harden as soon as 90 minutes after it’s been loaded into a mixer truck.
This time sensitivity creates huge barriers to entry as the supplier needs a concrete plant to be within a 25-mile radius of the construction site.
CEO Bill Sandbrook -- a West Point graduate who earned four master’s degrees while in the service -- is a strategy guru who took the reins in 2011, as the firm was emerging from bankruptcy.
In the five years since Sandbrook joined the company, U.S. Concrete has made acquisitions in Manhattan, New Jersey and San Francisco, places experiencing higher-than-average construction growth.
Plus, the company has expanded its presence in the Dallas–Fort Worth area of Texas, which accounts for almost 40% of revenue. U.S. Concrete also acquired sand and stone yards locally to ensure a consistent and close supply of raw materials.
Massive projects in Texas, northern California, New York and New Jersey and a burst of federal funding for public projects will continue to stoke demand for its ready-mix product.
The Texas’s Department of Transportation is allocating $9 billion to roadway projects this year, versus $7 billion last year. The long-awaited $4 billion rebuild of LaGuardia’s airport just broke ground in June. U.S. Concrete is a supplier for both of these mega projects.
Not only will these projects deliver big boosts to revenue, they are often more profitable than residential buildings.
There are few suppliers able to handle the rigorous specifications, complexity, customization requirements and significant volume that these massive projects need.
Now is an excellent time to buy. Our target price of $80 is based on 18 times 2017 estimates, a conservative valuation to account for weather-related and cyclical risks.
By Linda McDonough, Editor of Growth Stock Strategist