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Aecon CEO talks infrastructure 'super-cycle'

Tags: Aecon
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Aecon (ARE-T), Canada's largest publicly-traded construction company, kicked off 2011 with a $59-million loss, followed by a more than 30-percent fall in its stock. But the shares have been surging since September, rising more than 70 percent.

Investors are beginning to buy into CEO John Beck's belief that Canada is setting up for an infrastructure super cycle -- and the company is ready to take full advantage.

"We're in a charmed space right now, and we're seeing it, we're seeing it all around us. There are long-term plans being made by all of the large international mining companies and oil companies today," Beck tells BNN.

He doesn't believe that the recent austerity budget tabled by Ontario's Liberal government will weigh on the company.

"[The budget] maintained the pace of the construction that was planned already in the multi-year infrastructure investment plan," he says. "And we see significant activity not only in the traditional infrastructure space, but also in the new transit opportunities that are public-private partnerships."

Analysts are also backing the company.

Desjardin Securities' Pierre Lacroix says the construction giant offers investors "compelling exposure to mega-projects throughout the Canadian construction industry."

"We believe the stock could have further upside as the company delivers steady margin expansion in 4Q11 and 2012, and new contract awards give investors confidence in Aecon's ability to execute consistently and efficiently," he said in a recent note to clients.

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