Quanta Power

Nobody can escape the short-term insanity of this market, Cramer said, so look for companies that will perform well over time.

Quanta Service’s buyout of rival Infrasource should allow the power-grid builder to do just that. The deal eliminated a key competitor, grew Quanta’s business into the Midwest and Northeast and put management in a position to cut costs by as much as $20 million in 2008. And all that competitive bidding for projects that drove Quanta’s prices down? Pretty much gone.

Quanta installs, maintains and repairs power and gas lines in the U.S. The firm also lays wire for telco and cable companies and puts up cell-phone towers and traffic lights, too. The total backlog of projects waiting to be completed – the key metric for evaluating infrastructure companies, Cramer said – is worth $4.35 billion. Not bad for a company worth only $4.75 billion!

This is one of Cramer’s classic underpromise, overdeliver situations. Quanta’s third-quarter numbers beat analyst expectations by 2 cents, but the company still offered conservative guidance. The Infrasource acquisition, updates to the U.S. power grid and initiatives like Verizon’s FiOS should go straight to Quanta’s bottom line. So if anything happens to this stock, Cramer thinks it’s going higher.

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