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Calif. Construction Firm Defies Odds, Stock Up 10%

Shares of California-based Granite Constructionhave defied the odds, gaining more than 10 percent in 2008.

Chief Executive William Dorey says he thinks the company's geographic diversity is helping to fuel its success.

"We have grown our business across this country," said Dorey. "We’re involved in some of the largest projects in the United States, for example we’re part of a team rebuilding the transit station underneath the World Trade Center, and we’ll come to your driveway in some locations in the West."

Forty percent of the company’s business still comes from its home state of California, but it is not as dependent on the state as it used to be. Considering California’s recent budget problems, this is a plus for Granite .

"California has announced that they will not be funding new projects, and I think there’s some speculation that they’ll be stopping some of the existing projects," he said. "This is a temporary situation, and my sense is that the legislature and Governor Schwarzenneger will deal with this within the next several weeks and get the state back on track."

In the meantime, Dorey says the federal government clearly has a role to play here. He says an infrastructure stimulus package is part of that role, and he admits some of his company’s 2008 success is from the anticipated stimulus money.

"There’s a lot of conversation, and I think appropriately so, to reinvest back into the infrastructure of this country," he added. "President-elect Obama has made some pretty important statements regarding what he intends to do when he’s inaugurated, and the marketplace is reacting to that."