Tags: Franklin | Electric | Latin | FELE

Franklin Electric Booming On Latin Growth

By    |   Tuesday, 10 Jan 2012 07:48 AM

These are salad days for Franklin Electric (FELE). The Bluffton, Ind. firm makes groundwater and fuel pumping systems. Sales are booming worldwide, especially on growth in Latin American markets. The result is that Franklin Electric notched an 11.9 percent stock gain in 2011.

The company is prospering by selling water pumps that irrigate crops in dry lands, gaining market share in the United States and Canada. But sales in Brazil, Mexico and Argentina also are surging. Total worldwide sales show no signs of slowing in 2012, analysts add.

Franklin Electric also pumps up revenues with acquisitions. Last year, it gobbled up a leading groundwater pumping equipment maker in Turkey. 

The acquisition gives Franklin the “leading position in the rapidly growing market for groundwater pumping systems in Turkey and throughout the Middle East,” says Scott Trumbull, Franklin Electric’s CEO. R&D spending was ratcheted up 31 percent.

Sales and profits are surging. Third-quarter sales rose 19 percent to $224.4 million, versus $188.4 million a year ago. Earnings per share soared 54 percent. Water system sales rose 17 percent and fueling systems 27 percent.

Dividends rising

Of the two analysts followed by Thomson/First Call, both have hold recommendations on Franklin Electric.

Zacks Investment Research analysts disagree though. They have a strong buy recommendation, citing rising earnings estimates for Franklin Electric. The 1.2 percent dividend yield is also solid, analysts add. Dividends have risen 8.6 percent annually since 2000.

The company reports next Feb. 29.

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