Fixing Up Your Portfolio With Fix-Ups

Andrew Fisher,

When an Interstate highway bridge collapsed into the Mississippi River last August, America's crumbling infrastructure was thrust onto center stage.  Does fixing infrastructure both across America and around the world open up investment opportunities?  Several experts think so.

"We need roughly $200 billion of improvements, as our nations highways and bridges are really crumbling," Jack Ablin of Harris Private Bank told CNBC. "I think that's a huge play for some of these industrial companies to get busy over the next several years."

John Rogers of D.A. Davidson and Company says his firm recently upgraded Granite Construction, a company with a lot of infrastructure projects in California.

Investing in Infrastructure

"You focus on markets where you know there's underlying growth, not only in need, but in population, because ultimately it's tax receipts that are going to drive that," he explained.

Rogers' firm also likes Sterling Construction in Texas.

Chris Mayer, editor of Capital and Crisis, sees opportunity in the need to build out the world's power grids.

"A good company to play there is something like ABB," Mayer said. "I like ABB because it's a global play.  One of their largest markets is in India, for example, where their sales were up over 40 percent in the last quarter."

Ablin raises another point about infrastructure build-out.

"A lot of this infrastructure is going to get privatized," he explained.  "My view is, this is the next real estate opportunity...perhaps, buying into some of these partnerships where Macquarie and...other Australian banks are tying this stuff up."