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Tickers in this Article: FWLT, HAL, KBR, FLR, STRL
Our country's infrastructure is in desperate need of repair. Many economists also agree that infrastructure spending is one of the best ways to stimulate the economy as infrastructure jobs can be long lasting. With the expectation that the effects of the government stimulus spending to will begin to be felt later this year and beyond, a few businesses appear poised to benefit from having the government as a bigger customer. (For background reading, see Build Your Portfolio With Infrastructure Investments.) IN PICTURES: Eight Ways To Survive A Market Downturn

Growth at a Reasonable Price
Fluor
(NYSE:FLR) offers investors an attractive way to diversify into the infrastructure industry. Fluor operates all over the world, offering its engineering services to the energy sector, healthcare industry, and telecommunications industry, just to name a few. Fluor also has a government division that provides engineering and design work for various government agencies, including defense, homeland security and energy. It's a $9 billion company with a very reasonable P/E of 11. The company continues to perform well during this recession. Since 2006, net income has risen from over $263 million to over $720 million in 2008, while first-quarter profit has already clocked in at some $200 million.

Fellow competitor Foster Wheeler (Nasdaq:FWLT) looks especially attractive with its debt-free balance sheet and a P/E of 6. Another niche player is KBR (NYSE:KBR), a Halliburton spin-off (NYSE:HAL). KBR has primarily been focused on Department of Defense work and energy infrastructure work for government agencies the world over. However, recent domestic acquisitions have given the company increased exposure to domestic infrastructure work. The spin-off left KBR with a pristine balance sheet: no debt and nearly $6 in cash against a share price of $18.

Pure Play
Finally, an overlooked pure play domestic infrastructure bet is Sterling Construction (Nasdaq:STRL). This small cap civil construction company trades at just 10 times earnings and has $30 million in net cash against a $200 million market cap.

The vast majority of Sterling's work occurs in Texas and Nevada. Sterling services include highway and bridge work, wastewater system repair and installation, and other general contracting services. Sterling's customers include local and state municipalities, school districts and utilities - agencies that should directly benefit from government stimulus money.

Bottom Line
In uncertain times, having the government as your customer offers a high degree of certainty. With America's infrastructure in dire need of repair, businesses with established expertise should do exceedingly well over the years to come as a result of additional government spending. (For related reading, see Top 6 U.S Government Financial Bailouts.)

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