Finally, infrastructure investors may want to look at Wesco (WCC, $48), the nation's leading electrical supplies and equipment distributor. In this highly fragmented market, Wesco and its top three competitors account for only 20% of all sales, but Wesco's aggressive acquisition strategy (29 deals since 1995) has made it the only national player. It has a solid balance sheet and plans to continue buying up smaller rivals.
Because Wesco deals in building supplies, its stock was hammered amid the general worries about the housing slump. But it has limited exposure to the weak residential market.
"They distribute mainly to utilities, governments, and industrial companies - end markets that are still very attractive," says Kent Croft, president of investment firm Croft Leominster, which owns about 117,000 shares. The stock looks cheap, trading at just eight times next year's estimated earnings. Analysts surveyed by Capital IQ say that on average the company will increase earnings by 14% and revenue by 7% annually over the next three years.