In all the build up to the coming Trump administration, there has been talk of only one bi-partisan program — huge U.S. infrastructure spending.
Now, there are plenty of differing approaches, but at the end of the day, if there’s general agreement on the Hill, you can likely build a bill that most can agree on. Plus, it would be a positive PR move during Trump’s transition. It would also keep legs on the Trump rally that’s been going on for two months now.
But regardless of what Pennsylvania Avenue does, I’m more interested on who the winners will be on Wall Street. The seven straight-A industrials to build your portfolio around that I’ve highlighted here aren’t dependent on Washington. They’ll do well regardless of a stimulus package.
And if one passes, well, all the better.
Straight-A Stocks to Buy: Willdan (WLDN)
Willdan Group Inc (NASDAQ:WLDN) is California-based consulting firm that works with industry and governments on large scale projects from building bridges to making walking trails to siting and building facilities for utilities.
It has been doing this since 1964, so it has a long reputation and it’s well connected, especially in core markets like California and New York. It’s broken up into four divisions that are also complementary, if a client only wants one or two aspects of its services it can choose.
The four divisions are: engineering (Willdan Engineering), energy efficiency (Willdan Energy Solutions), public finance (Willdan Financial Services) and homeland security (Willdan Homeland Security).
Obviously, its Homeland Security division is relatively new, but there is a lot of money in projects funded by Homeland Security and it matches up well with some WLDN’s core infrastructure projects.
The stock is up 152% in the past six months, and this is just the beginning.
Straight-A Stocks to Buy: Viad (VVI)
Viad Corp (NYSE:VVI) is a unique, thoroughly modern type of infrastructure company. It has two main divisions — Marketing & Events (U.S. and Global subdivisions) and Travel & Recreation.
So far, the big winner is the M&E group. But the T&R division is putting in place a group of very focused properties that specialize in unique travel opportunities to destinations in British Columbia’s Canadian Rockies as well as Denali National Park and the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska. VVI runs and maintains the resorts and develops tour packages for travelers looking to experience these unique locations.
And this is perfectly paired with its M&E business since developing international events is all about logistics, planning and marrying myriad details and vendors into one seamless event. And nowadays, putting on a major global event that can be broadcast around the world online, and otherwise in real time, is a top priority for big organizations and companies that don’t want to waste a single opportunity to connect with customers and would-be customers.
VVI is up 37% in the past six months but this market is growing very quickly, so there’s plenty of upside left.
Straight-A Stocks to Buy: Virco (VIRC)
Virco Mfg Corporation (NASDAQ:VIRC) is a specialty furniture producer. It makes products that are used in schools throughout the U.S. In recent years, this has not been a great business to be in since local governments have been strapped for cash as the economic recovery inched along. But that is changing now, and if there’s any infrastructure spending, it would be very good for VIRC.
Yet even without that boost, VIRC is lean and mean now and things are looking up. In its most recent third-quarter numbers reported Dec. 9, revenue was up 4% year-over-year. Margins were flat. But this is a good sign.
Most school equipment and furniture is purchased during the summer break when it’s easier to assess the needs of the school. Lower unemployment means more tax revenue for local governments and schools tend to be a top priority for towns and cities.
Up 22% in the past 12 months, the road ahead may be volatile, but it is bright.
Straight-A Stocks to Buy: MasTec (MTZ)
MasTec, Inc. (NYSE:MTZ) is one of the nation’s leading infrastructure construction firms. If you’re looking for a pure play on U.S. infrastructure, it’s hard to find one any purer. And MTZ has been at it for the past 80 years.
The great thing about MTZ is, an infrastructure stimulus bill would simply be icing on the cake. It is already doing very well on its own, with projects from renewable energy, to oil and gas, to telecommunications. It’s at the heart of industries with the strongest growth and that means MTZ is on a strong growth path.
Its Q3 numbers, reported Nov. 3, tell the story: Revenue was up 43%; Ebitda for the quarter was up 81%; and not surprisingly, MTZ raised 2016 expectations on both earnings and revenue.
The stock has left the runway, up 170% in the past 12 months. But don’t let that scare you away. The numbers show it has plenty of growth left in it. There’s even talk that MTZ is a key potential contractor in Cuba.
Straight-A Stocks to Buy: Hudson (HDSN)
Hudson Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ:HDSN) is one of those niche companies that you rarely hear about but has a lock on its industry. It’s all about refrigerant. That means it’s a very “cool” company. Sorry, just had to say it.
It is one of the nation’s largest refrigerant providers in the U.S. It also recycles and reclaims refrigerants and helps build and design coolant systems. If you think about all the cooling that goes on on a day-to-day basis, you start to see this invisible industry. Just think about all the coolers and freezers in your average grocery store. Or the massive units that cool buildings. Or the refrigerated trucks and train cars that move all manner of goods across the U.S.
There’s also a number that’s compelling about HDSN — 165. That’s the percentage it has returned in the past year. This isn’t because there has been new massive demand for HDSN services, it’s because investors of all stripes are learning about this company for the first.
A solid balance sheet, a strong and growing market and a dominant position in a niche industry. All these spell significant future success for HDSN.
Straight-A Stocks to Buy: Cemtrex (CETX)
Cemtrex Inc (NASDAQ:CETX) considers itself a diversified technology company with tools and equipment for large industry. It has a few brands in various sectors of the market, but its business is focused on providing large organizations with everything from manufacturing and test engineering support to industrial air filtration and environmental control equipment.
CETX only has a market cap of around $70 million, so it’s not huge battleship of a company. It does have a solid business, but because of its size, the market has tended to bat the stock around a bit. This stock is not for risk averse investors.
Granted, CETX is up 200%-plus in the past year, but it had some very quiet times before that. The longer-term stock chart shows that it’s had this pattern for the past few years. But this recent breakout has legs and looks very sustainable given the resurgence in U.S. energy exploration and a growth in industrial production.
Straight-A Stocks to Buy: Argan (AGX)
Argan Inc (NYSE:AGX) is an interesting diversified industrial service company that operates in the four different industries. It operates Gemma Power Systems, which works with power companies on engineering, procurement and construction. It manages 80 plants around the U.S. that pump out 11,000 MW of power.
Its Atlantic Projects Company provides construction and technical services for power generation, oil and natural gas, industrial and process industry customers. That means swapping in and out big pieces of equipment — decommissioning and commissioning — like turbines and industrial boilers. This business operates in more than 30 countries worldwide.
Southern Maryland Cable provides cabling services to the government and military buildings and installations in the DC metropolitan area, including high-security locations like the NSA.
The Roberts Company provides fabrication, construction and plant services to heavy and light industrial clients.
All these divisions continue to produce impressive numbers. The stock is up 141% in the past 12 months and the growth is as regular as the tides.
Louis Navellier is a renowned growth investor. He is the editor of five investing newsletters: Blue Chip Growth, Emerging Growth, Ultimate Growth, Family Trust and Platinum Growth. His most popular service, Blue Chip Growth, has a track record of beating the market 3:1 over the last 14 years. He uses a combination of quantitative and fundamental analysis to identify market-beating stocks. Mr. Navellier has made his proven formula accessible to investors via his free, online stock rating tool, PortfolioGrader.com. Louis Navellier may hold some of the aforementioned securities in one or more of his newsletters.