Graph courtesy of FMI
Trends and estimates of total construction put-in-place in the U.S.


Total Construction put-in-place for 2013 will rise 8% over last year to $918.9 billion, says industry management consultant FMI in its first-quarter outlook released last month. The firm says the estimate "is a solid improvement," but it doesn't expect the annual total to reach above the trillion-dollar mark until 2015. The residential sector appears to lead the charge, with single-family buildings set to rise 23% and multifamily construction up 31%, on top of last year's 47% increase. Lodging construction will rise 10%. While many businesses are still in "wait-and-see mode, some industries are breaking the mold and planning for growth," FMI says.

Movers and Shakers


Balfour Beatty Construction Services US, Dallas, has elevated President Mark Layman to the added roles of chairman and CEO, effective "at the end of 2013," the company said on April 18. He will succeed Robert Van Cleave, who has served in those positions since 2003. Layman, a 24-year company veteran, had been executive vice president and chief financial officer. Van Cleave joined the company (then Centex Construction) in 1996 as president and CEO of Southwest operations. John Tarpey remains chief operating officer.

Kenneth E. Rigmaiden was unanimously elected general president of the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades, the 140,000-member union said on April 1. The former executive general vice president succeeds James A. Williams, who retires from the role he held since 2003. Rigmaiden is a trustee of the AFL-CIO's Coalition of Black Trade Unionists and a director of ULLICO Inc., the union-owned insurance firm.

Dale Swanberg has joined Flatiron Construction Corp., Firestone, Colo., as chief operating officer. He was president of the heavy-civil division at Chicago contractor The Walsh Group Ltd. since 2005. At Flatiron, he succeeds John DiCiurcio, the COO of sister-firm Turner Construction Co., who became Flatiron CEO in February after the departure of Thomas Rademacher.

ISEC Inc., a Colorado specialty contractor, has elevated Dusty Morgan to president and CEO. He replaces Donald Shaw in the role.

Ian Johnston, president of the heavy-industrial division of PCL Construction Enterprises Inc., has gained the added role of chief operating officer, succeeding Peter Stalenhoef, who retired.


Wall Street View

Analysts Are Bearish: Caterpillar's first-quarter income released April 22 was below analysts' estimate, with the $13.2 billion in revenue reported a 17% decrease year-over-year, says Joel Tiss, machinery analyst at BMO Capital Markets. "We believe Caterpillar is finally admitting to and adjusting for what we all know—economic growth is slow and narrow," he says, adding that analysts expect mining to be a much smaller component of the firm's overall mix going forward. In an April 22 report, Andrew Wittman, industry sector analyst at Baird Equity Research, sees "a market slowly recovering from the bottom but with few immediate catalysts to support fundamental gains ahead, with federal exposure a more significant headwind than we had previously assumed." He sees some strength in transportation design "though even here we sensed continued dissatisfaction with long-term funding solutions currently in place and relatively little conviction in project construction conversion in 2013." The E&C group, tracked by Jamie Cook, head analyst at Credit Suisse, fell 8.3%, "along with the price of commodities and likely on fears of earnings after several weak reports last quarter," she says. But Cook says Jim Bernhard, former Shaw Group chairman, has launched Shaw Capital Partners, a private equity firm that will invest in independent energy and infrastructure companies and assets.