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They say good things come to those who wait. And if you've been waiting for a niche bull market, Jim Cramer thinks the wait is over. That is, Cramer believes demand for materials used to build roads is about to surge and companies pegged to the theme should benefit proportionately.
"See, the last big highway bill expired in 2009, and Washington didn't pass a new one until June of 2012," Cramer explained.
Although the 'new' bill is now 18 months old, as a market catalyst Cramer says it's in its infancy.
"That's because it takes a lot of time for this kind of legislation to take effect, and for the money to flow from the federal government down to the companies that are actually involved in the road building business," Cramer explained.
And Cramer thinks the time to buy is now just as the money first starts to flow.
"With this kind of cyclical story, you have buy stocks now, before the turn is apparent to everyone." Cramer explained.
Why does Cramer think money is flowing if the trend is not apparent to everyone?
"Because back in January, trailing twelve month highway contract awards were still declining. But fast forward to this past October, and we saw a 9% year over year increase. These highway contract awards are a reliable leading indicator for the business of building and maintaining roads. "
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" is the biggest producer of construction aggregates in America as well as being a significant producer of cement, not to mention asphalt and concrete. I think Vulcan is the best pure play on U.S. construction and road-building. "
Looking at , Cramer said, "It's the third-largest cement operation on earth and the number one maker of concrete. Also, the company just completed a major debt restructuring last year that has dramatically strengthened its balance sheet, and I expect the business to do very well next year."
Just one caveat about Cemex. "It it only gets 21% of its sales from the United States," Cramer noted.
However, that 21% of the business is quite strong—when Cemex reported in October, the company had its best quarter for U.S. revenues since 2008.
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