It's official: President Biden's $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill is about to be signed into law, having passed through the House of Representatives after months of negotiations. It's a historic moment, one that puts the spotlight back on infrastructure stocks, as the trillion-dollar bill proposes the biggest spending on America's infrastructure since the 1950s.
As there's something in the bill for nearly every industry within the infrastructure sector, plenty of stocks could win big as federal spending under the program begins to roll out. Some infrastructure stocks look like clear longtime winners under the Biden administration once you dissect what's in the infrastructure bill. Here's a quick breakdown of the major spending proposals from the bill:
- Roads and bridges: $110 billion.
- Clean water: $55 billion.
- Passenger rail: $66 billion.
- Power infrastructure, including clean energy transmission: $65 billion.
- Airports, waterways, and port infrastructure: $42 billion.
- Broadband internet: $65 billion.
- Electric vehicles: $7.5 billion.
- Zero- and low-emission buses and ferries: $7.5 billion.
Given the backdrop, here are three infrastructure stocks worth buying that could make the most of Biden's infrastructure program.
Leading supplier to the construction industry
Aggregates are the major constituent of concrete, the most common raw material used in the construction of solid structures, whether it's bridges, roads, dams, buildings, or water treatment facilities. Vulcan Materials (NYSE:VMC) is not only the nation's largest producer of aggregates but also makes asphalt and ready-mixed concrete.
More importantly, nearly 43% of its aggregate shipments went to public construction in 2020, and highway construction projects made up almost 23% of its sales volume. In fact, that number should only rise now that Vulcan has acquired U.S. Concrete, a company that specializes in aggregates and concrete. I therefore wouldn't be surprised to see Vulcan win more awards under the Biden administration and grow its sales and earnings.
The acquisition has expanded Vulcan's footprint in important U.S. markets, including Texas, New York, and New Jersey, and it's already contributing to earnings: Vulcan just increased its 2021 outlook for adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) to a range of $1.43 billion to $1.46 billion. That's nearly 11% growth over 2020.
You might think Vulcan is an expensive stock now that's its hovering around 52-week highs, but here's the thing: Vulcan is on solid footing to take advantage of any rise in federal spending on infrastructure, and that should reflect in not only the stock's price but also its dividends. Vulcan has increased dividends every year since 2014.
Massive growth potential ahead
When a company that serves an indispensable section of the construction market is already performing incredibly well even before federal spending rolls out, the stock could be an even big winner under the infrastructure bill. That's why you shouldn't have to think twice before buying shares of Nucor (NYSE:NUE), the nation's largest steel company.
Picture this: Nucor has reported three back-to-back record quarters this year, and the recent growth in its sales, earnings, and cash flows has been nothing of stunning.
Nucor made the most of the COVID-19 pandemic-induced downturn by spending money where it matters: starting essential organic projects while maintaining flexible production at existing factories as per end-user demand, and making multiple acquisitions. Nucor's vertically integrated and low-cost operations are already huge competitive advantages and a big reason the company is minting so much money as demand and steel prices are on the rise.
If you need evidence of Nucor's financial fortitude and resilience, just look at its dividend history: Nucor has increased dividends annually for 48 years.
Still wondering why you should buy Nucor now? Something management recently said should help you decide:
We expect continued strong results for the fourth quarter of 2021, potentially exceeding the net earnings record set in the third quarter of 2021. Demand remains robust across most end-use markets, a trend we expect will continue well into 2022. Backlogs in our steel mills and steel products segments remain elevated compared to historical levels.
A multibagger infrastructure stock
Biden's $1.2 trillion bill includes sending worth more than $65 billion on upgrading and expanding power infrastructure, including the "largest investment in clean energy transmission and grid in American history." It's therefore logical to expect NextEra Energy (NYSE:NEE) -- owner of the nation's largest regulated utility and the largest producer of wind and solar energy -- to thrive under Biden.
Consider: NextEra Energy's utility Florida Power & Light (FPL) recently won a long-term settlement that'll help it lower bills for consumers in Florida while it builds the largest solar project in the U.S. in collaboration with multiple groups, including consumer, environmental, and government agencies. The project includes the installation of 30 million solar panels in Florida by 2030, a green hydrogen plant, an energy storage center, and expansion of electric-vehicle infrastructure in FPL's service areas.
This is an example of what incredible prospects NextEra Energy could have once the federal government begins spending on power and clean energy infrastructure. FPL, in fact, has already outlined its largest capital spending ever for 2022, even as NextEra Energy's clean-energy arm, Energy Resources, sat on a backlog of signed contracts worth nearly 18.1 gigawatts (GW) as of Oct. 20. Through 2024, Energy Resources projects it could sign clean energy contracts worth up to 30 GW, more than its entire capacity currently under operation.
NextEra Energy is already growing at a stunning pace: It grew adjusted earnings per share and dividends at compound annual growth rates of 8.7% and 9.6, respectively, between 2005 and 2020, and that's meant multibagger returns for patient shareholders. Given the company's powerful foothold in both the power and clean energy sectors and its dividend growth potential, I see a multibagger infrastructure stock in the making here.