Trader Talk

Where's Our Stimulus?


The back-end loaded stimulus planpassed earlier this year is causing many companies to re-evaluate the impact on their earnings.

Martin Marietta , one of the biggest makers of stone, cement, and other aggregates for highways, residential, and commercial construction in the U.S., notably lowered their earnings last night.

They were expecting volume in 2009 to be down 9 to 12 percent, EXCLUDING the impact of the stimulus program, a good part of which is going to infrastructure.

Now they are expecting volume to be down 13 to 18 percent INCLUDING the including of the stimulus program.

What happened?

1) Volumes have been dropping even more than expected due to the weak economy and weaker state revenues, and

2) the stimulus money has not arrived--yet. Instead of about one-third of the stimulus funds hitting this year, they now estimate only 25 percent of the funds will hit in 2009.

There is some good news.

2010 should see "a significant increase in infrastructure related projects as the effects of the federal economic stimulus work their way into the economy."

They are also expecting a modest increase in sales to the residential field. Infrastructure and residential are almost 70 percent of sales; the remainder, commercial construction, will continue to see declines.

Another example of a very mixed picture on the earnings front



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