Civil construction contractor Granite Construction ( GVA) said second-quarter earnings more than doubled from a year ago, helped by its branch division. The company earned $33.3 million, or 80 cents a share, compared with $15 million, or 36 cents a share, a year ago. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call were expecting earnings of 58 cents a share in the most recent quarter. Second-quarter revenue rose 20% from a year ago to $812 million. Analysts were estimating revenue of $756.5 million in the most recent quarter. For the year 2006, the company expects that the healthy public sector bidding environment for its branch division will continue and will likely offset any impact from the slowdown in its residential site development business. Backlog at the end of the quarter remained flat at $2.5 billion compared to a year ago. New awards for the second quarter include a joint venture bridge project in Louisiana for $348 million, of which Granite's portion is $87 million. The construction business, which contributes 87% to the total quarterly revenue, rose 18.8% to $703.5 million from a year ago. Material sales business revenue increased 28.4% to $108.6 million.