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Roads, Bridges Beget Solid Returns

Caveats

A challenge facing many infrastructure plays right now is the market's shift away from levered companies. "They need to have debt to fund their projects, but companies that have any kind of debt in their structure have been getting rocked," says Clary. "We are buying companies with very strong balance sheets."

Another consideration is companies' operations. "There is always regulatory risk in this sector that you have to pay attention to," says Smith.

Power plays

Buying individual stocks may be a way to enter the sector. Clary especially likes Fluor (FLR - Get Report) and Foster Wheeler (FWLT). "Both of these companies are looking to build out around energy infrastructure," he says.

Luecke and Smith also like infrastructure plays that are tied to energy. They have long-term bullish outlooks for Exelon and Spectra Energy (SE - Get Report). They think Exelon has upside potential in its nuclear power business. "Power prices are up in the U.S. primarily because coal and gas prices are up," Smith says. "Nuclear prices haven't seen these same significant increases yet."

In August, Spectra checked in with second-quarter results that included a 47% year-over-year increase in ongoing EPS as operating revenue spiked 16%.

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