Ever since Warren Buffett inked a deal to acquire a 50% stake in Heinz back in February, the world has spent a fair amount of time trying to figure out which company he would gobble up next through Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK-B ) (NYSE: BRK-A ) .
If we could be sure of one thing, however, it was that Buffett would acquire more companies. He even went so far as to bluntly joke: “I’m ready for another elephant. Please, if you see any walking by, just call me.”
Powering the city that never sleeps
Sure enough, it seems Buffett’s elephant gun has found its mark in the form of Nevada-based NV Energy (NYSE: NVE ) , the electric utility company which most notably keeps the lights on in Las Vegas, but has also served Nevada customers for over 100 years in a nearly 46,000-square-mile service territory from Elko to Laughlin.
Long story short, Berkshire’s MidAmerican Energy subsidiary has agreed to acquire NV Energy for $23.75 per share, or $5.59 billion in cash. When you include debt, the deal boasts an enterprise value closer to $10 billion.
Top 5 Machinery Companies To Invest In Right Now: Barnes Group Inc (B)
Barnes Group Inc. is an international aerospace and industrial components manufacturer and logistics services company serving a range of end markets and customers. The products and services provided by Barnes Group are critical components for applications, which provide transportation, communication, manufacturing and technology. The Company operates under two global business segments: Logistics and Manufacturing Services, and Precision Components. On December 30, 2011, the Company sold its Barnes Distribution Europe (BDE) business to Berner SE. In August 2012, the Company acquired Synventive Molding Solutions.
Logistics and Manufacturing Services
Logistics and Manufacturing Services provides logistics support and repair services. Value-added logistics support services include inventory management, technical sales, and supply chain solutions for maintenance, repair, operating, and production supplies and services. Repair services provided include the manufacturing of spare parts for the refurbishment and repair of engineered components and assemblies for commercial and military aviation. Logistics and Manufacturing Services has sales, distribution, and manufacturing operations in the United States, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Mexico, Singapore, Spain and the United Kingdom. Products and services are available in more than 30 countries.
The global operations are engaged in supplying, servicing and manufacturing of maintenance, repair and operating components. Activities include logistics support through vendor-managed inventory and technical sales for stocked replacement parts and other products, catalog offerings and custom solutions, and the manufacture and delivery of aerospace aftermarket spare parts, including the revenue sharing programs (RSPs) under, which the Company receives right to supply designated aftermarket parts over the life of the related aircraft engine program, and component repair s. In addition, the manufacturing and supplying of aerospace! aftermarket spare parts, including the RSPs, are dependent upon the reliable and timely delivery of components.
Precision Components is a global supplier of engineered components for critical applications focused on providing solutions for a industrial, transportation and aerospace customer base. It is equipped to produce every type of precision spring, from fine hairsprings for electronics and instruments to heavy-duty springs for machinery, as well as precision-machined and fabricated components and assemblies for OEM turbine engine, airframe and industrial gas turbine builders globally, and the military. It is also a manufacturer and supplier of precision mechanical products, including precision mechanical springs, compressor reed valves and nitrogen gas products. Precision Components also manufactures punched and fine-blanked components used in transportation and industrial applications, nitrogen gas springs and manifold sy stems used to control stamping presses, and retention rings, which position parts on a shaft or other axis.
Precision Components has a customer base with products purchased by durable goods manufacturers located in industries, including transportation, consumer products, farm equipment, telecommunications, medical devices, home appliances and electronics, and airframe and gas turbine engine manufacturers for commercial and military jets, business jets, and land-based industrial gas turbines. Long-standing customer relationships enable Precision Components to participate in the design phase of components and assemblies, through which customers receive the benefits of manufacturing research, testing and evaluation. Products are sold through Precision Components’ direct sales force and a distribution channel. Precision Components has manufacturing, sales, assembly and distribution operations in the United States, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, Korea, Mexico, Si ngapore, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand and the United Kingdo! m.
- [By Vanina Egea]
For fiscal year 2013, Enbridge Energy reported a decline in net income. The report manifesting the figure eliminates the impact of: (a) additional environmental costs, net of insurance recoveries, associated with the Line 6B incident; (b) non-cash, mark-to-market net gains and losses; and (c) other adjustments.
- [By LarryZ6]
Until recently, the company was considered as concentrating in pure mobile business solutions; in fact, Vodafone is the world´s second largest mobile carrier behind China Mobiles (CHL). However, it seems that Vodafone decided to pursue a strategy that focus on (a) adding services to its existing portfolio in Europe and (b) expanding activities in emerging markets.
Top 5 Machinery Companies To Invest In Right Now: Esco Technologies Inc (ESE)
ESCO Technologies Inc. (ESCO), incorporated in August 1990, is a producer of engineered products and systems sold to customers worldwide, primarily for utility, industrial, aerospace and commercial applications. ESCO operates in three segments: Utility Solutions Group (Utility Solutions), RF Shielding and Test (Test) and Filtration/Fluid Flow (Filtration). On July 31, 2010, the Company acquired the capital stock of Crissair, Inc. On September 3, 2010, the Company acquired the capital stock of Xtensible Solutions, Inc. its subsidiaries include Aclara Power-Line Systems Inc. (Aclara PLS), Aclara RF Systems Inc. (Aclara RF), Aclara Software Inc., Doble Engineering Company, Doble Lemke AG, Doble Lemke GmbH, Doble PowerTest Limited, Doble TransiNor AS, Crissair, Inc., PTI Technologies Inc., TekPackaging LLC, VACCO Industries, Beijing Lindgren ElectronMagnetic Technology Co., Ltd., ETS-Lindgren L.P., ETS-Lindgren OY, ETS Lindgren Limited and ETS Lindgren Japan, Inc. In January 2 013, the Company acquired the assets of Metrum Technologies LLC. In June 2013, ESCO Technologies Inc announced that it has acquired Canyon Engineering Products Inc.
The Utility Solutions segment accounted for approximately 57% of the Company’s total revenue during the fiscal year ended September 30, 2010 (fiscal 2010). Aclara PLS is a manufacturer of two-way power line communication systems for the electric utility industry (the TWACS systems), which are composed of equipment (meter modules and equipment for central stations and substations), software and support services. The TWACS systems provide electric utilities with a communication technology for automatic meter reading, load control, interval data, outage assessment/restoration monitoring, remote service disconnect/connect, time-of-use data for critical peak pricing, tamper/theft detection and pre-paid metering. Revenue from the TWACS systems accounted for approximately 2 2% of the Company’s total revenue in fiscal 2010. Aclara R! F provides, through its STAR network, wireless radio frequency (RF) data communications systems to gas, water and electric utilities for advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) applications. In fiscal 2010, total revenue received by the Company from PG&E for all sales was 9.2% of the Company’s consolidated revenue. Revenue from STAR network products, accounted for approximately 17%, of the Company’s total revenue in fiscal 2010.
Aclara Software Inc. provides utilities with software systems for energy and water information, delivering a scalable meter data management system (MDMS), AMI/meter device records and asset management, business applications addressing areas, such as revenue assurance and distribution asset analysis. Aclara’s analytics-based software applications are used by over 100 energy organizations worldwide. Doble provides electric utility customers with products and services to achieve the reliability and sustainability of electric power inf rastructure. It combines three elements for customers: diagnostic test instruments, expert consulting and testing services. Revenue from Doble’s products and services, accounted for approximately 15%, of the Company’s total revenue in fiscal 2010.
The Test segment accounted for approximately 23% of the Company’s total revenue in fiscal 2010. ETS-Lindgren designs and manufactures products to measure and contain magnetic, electromagnetic and acoustic energy. It supplies customers with a range of isolated environments including RF test enclosures, acoustic test enclosures, RF and magnetically shielded rooms, secure communication facilities and broadcast and recording studios. these facilities include shielded doors and windows. ETS-Lindgren also provides the design, program management, installation and integration services required to complete these types of facilities. ETS-Lindgren also supplies customers with a range of components, inclu ding RF absorptive materials, RF filters, active compensatio! n systems! , antennas, antenna masts, turntables and electric and magnetic probes, RF test cells, measurement software and other test accessories required to perform a variety of tests. ETS-Lindgren also offers a variety of services, including calibration for antennas and field probes, chamber certification, field surveys, customer training and a variety of product tests.
The Filtration segment accounted for approximately 20%, of the Company’s total revenue in fiscal 2010. PTI is a supplier of filtration products serving the commercial aerospace, military aerospace and various industrial markets. The industrial markets include chemical processing, automotive and mobile equipment. Products include filter elements, assemblies, modules, indicators and other related components. VACCO supplies flow control products, valves and filters to the space, defense and commercial industries for use in aircraft, satellite propulsion systems, satellite launch ve hicles and other space transportation systems, such as the Space Shuttle and its successor. VACCO also uses its etched disc technology to produce quiet valves and manifolds for the United States Navy applications. Crissair, Inc. supplies a variety of custom and standard valves and other various components to the aerospace, defense and commercial industries. Platform applications include fixed and rotary wing aircraft, air transport and business jets, and defense systems. TekPackaging LLC produces thermoformed products and packaging materials for medical, retail, food and electronic applications.
The Company competes with Itron, Inc., Silver Spring Networks, Landis+Gyr, Cannon Technologies Inc., Sensus Metering Systems Inc., Trilliant Inc., Elster Electricity, L.L.C., Comverge, Inc., Neptune Technology Group, e-Meter Corporation, Oracle Corporation, APOGEE Interactive Inc., Opower, Inc., Ecologic Analytics, LLC, SmartSynch, Inc.,Tantalus Systems Corp, OMICRON El ectronics Corp. USA, OMICRON, Megger Group Limited, EM shiel! ding mark! et, TDK RF Solutions Inc., Albatross GmbH, IMEDCO AG, Cuming Corporation, Pall Corporation, Moog, Inc., SoFrance and Clarcor Inc.
- [By James Miller Phd]
Pall Corporation (PLL) is a supplier of filtration, separation and purification technologies, principally made by the company, for the removal of solid, liquid and gaseous contaminants from a range of liquids and gases. The company serves customers through two businesses globally: Life Sciences and Industrial. While Pall competes with many companies in the Life Sciences markets and Industrial, few companies operate in both, like ESCO Technologies Inc. (ESE) and Danaher Corp. (DHR).
- [By Travis Hoium]
What: Shares of engineered product maker ESCO Technologies (NYSE: ESE ) dropped 10% today after a disappointing earnings report.
So what: Net sales dropped 4.4% in the fiscal second quarter to $166.2 million, short of the $170.5 million estimate. Earnings per share after adjusting for non-operating charges were $0.28, still below the $0.34 estimate.
Top 5 Machinery Companies To Invest In Right Now: Austin Engineering Ltd (ANG)
Austin Engineering Limited is engaged in the manufacture, repair, overhaul and supply of mining attachment products, general steelwork structures and other associated products and services for the industrial and resources-related business sectors. The Company operates in four segments: Australia, which includes mining equipment, other products and repair and maintenance services; Americas, which includes mining equipment and other products, consisting of North America and South America; Asia, which includes Indonesia for mining equipment and other products, and the Middle East, which includes aluminum smelter equipment and products. In October 2013, Austin Engineering Limited completed the acquisition of the business of Servigrut. Advisors’ Opinion:
- [By Julia Leite]
South African miners rallied after a recovery in gold prices. The FTSE/JSE Africa All-Share Index climbed 1.5 percent in Johannesburg, with Harmony Gold Mining Co. (HAR) and AngloGold Ashanti Ltd. (ANG) adding at least 5.2 percent.
Top 5 Machinery Companies To Invest In Right Now: Graco Inc (GGG)
Graco Inc. (Graco), incorporated in 1926, design, manufacture and sell equipment that pumps, meters, mixes, dispenses and sprays a variety of fluids and semi-solids. The Company operates in three segments: Industrial, Contractor and Lubrication. Primary users of its equipment include contractors and original equipment manufacturers, who uses its equipment in a variety of applications in the construction, manufacturing, processing and maintenance industries. Its equipment is used to paint, finish, fill, glue and seal a wide range of goods and materials. Graco sells its equipment through third-party distributors worldwide. The Company sells its products in geographic markets, such as the Americas (North and South America), Europe (including the Middle East and Africa) and Asia Pacific. In January 2014, the Company announced that it has completed the acquisition of QED Environmental Systems and EcoQuip.
The segment includes the In dustrial Products and the Applied Fluid Technologies divisions. End users of its industrial equipment require solutions to their manufacturing and maintenance challenges and are driven to purchase its industrial equipment by the return on investment that its products provide. The Industrial Products division markets its equipment and services to customers who manufacture, assemble, maintain, repair and refinish products, such as appliances, vehicles, airplanes, electronics, cabinets and furniture, and other articles. In addition to marketing its equipment to customers in similar industries, the Applied Fluid Technology division also sells to contractors who use its plural component equipment to apply foam insulation and protective coatings to buildings and other structures. Most Industrial segment equipment is sold worldwide through general and specialized third-party distributors, integrators, design centers, original equipment manufacturers and material suppliers.
The Industrial Products division focuses its product de! velopment and sales on two main applications: equipment that applies paint and other coatings to products, such as motor vehicles, appliances, furniture and other industrial and consumer products (finishing), and process pump equipment that moves and dispenses chemicals and liquid and semi-solid foods (process pumps). It’s finishing equipment pumps, meters and applies liquids on all types of wood, metal and plastic. Manufacturers in the automotive, automotive feeder, truck/bus/recreational vehicle, military and utility vehicle, aerospace, farm and construction, wood and general metals industries use its liquid finishing products. Its liquid finishing equipment includes paint circulating and paint supply pumps, paint circulating advanced control systems, plural component coating proportioners, various accessories to filter, transport, agitate and regulate fluid, and spare parts, such as spray tips, seals and filter screens.
The Company’s process pumps move ch emicals, petroleum, food and other fluids. Manufacturers and processors in the food and beverage, dairy, pharmaceutical, cosmetic, oil and gas, electronics, wastewater, mining and ceramics industries use its process pumps. It offers pumps for sanitary applications, including Food and Drug Administration (FDA )-compliant 3-A sanitary pumps, diaphragm pumps, transfer pumps and drum and bin unloaders. Its process pumps provide a mechanized solution to a manual process in a factory of moving fluids from large barrels into equipment that dispenses the fluid into jars or other containers. During the year ended December 31, 2011, the Company purchased certain peristaltic pumps assets of Eccentric Pumps, LLC, provided the Company with an entry into the industrial peristaltic pump industry.
The Applied Fluid Technologies division directs its engineering, sales and marketing efforts toward two types of applications: equipment to pump, meter, mix and dispense high perform ance protective coatings and polyurethane foam (protective c! oatings a! nd foam); and equipment to pump, meter, mix and dispense sealants, adhesives, molded polyurethane parts and composites (advanced fluid dispense). It offers sprayer systems and plural component proportioning equipment to apply protective coatings and foam to a wide variety of surfaces. Reactor plural component pumps are used to apply foam to insulate things, such as walls, water heaters, refrigeration, and hot tubs, create commercial roofing membranes and for packaging, architectural design and cavity filling. This equipment is also used to apply two-component polyurea coatings to tanks, pipes, roofs, truck beds and foundations.
Graco’s XM Plural-Component Sprayer series is and XP70 plural component sprayers are used for corrosion-control applications, such as tank and pipeline coatings, shipbuilding, marine and railcar maintenance, wind tower coating, bridge and infrastructure projects and coating structural steel. The XM sprayers provide precise and variable ratio control in a highly configurable system. The XP70 sprayers are fixed ratio units and intended for applications where variable ratio capability is not required. It offers pumps, meters, applicators and valves for the metering, mixing and dispensing of precision beads of sealant and adhesive to bond, mold, seal, vacuum encapsulate, pot, laminate and gasket parts and devices in a variety of industrial applications. The HFR Metering System is an in-plant, hydraulic, fixed-ratio metering system that applies a range of materials used for noise dampening, insulation and structural integrity. It also offers advanced composites equipment, which includes gel coat equipment, chop and wet-out systems, resin transfer molding systems and applicators , which are used for example in the manufacture of vehicles, aircraft, boats, wind turbines and bridge materials.
The Contractor segment directs its product development, sales and marketing of three applications: paint, texture, and pavement mainten! ance. The! Contractor segment markets airless paint and texture sprayers (air, gas, hydraulically- and electrically-powered), accessories, such as spray guns, hoses and filters and spare parts, such as tips and seals to professional painters in the construction and maintenance industries, tradesmen and do-it-yourselfers. The products are distributed primarily through distributor outlets whose main products are paint and other coatings. Contractor products are also sold through general equipment distributors. Certain sprayers and accessories are distributed globally through the home center channel.
Contractor equipment encompasses a variety of sprayers, including sprayers that apply markings on roads, parking lots, fields, bike paths, crosswalks and floors; texture to walls and ceilings; highly viscous coatings to roofs; and paint to walls and structures. Many of these sprayers and their accessories contain one or more technological features, such as micro-processor-based contro ls for consistent spray and protective shut-down, a pump that may be removed and re-installed without tools, an easy-clean feature, gas/electric convertibility, and a durable pump finish. The Company offers a line of professional grade handheld paint sprayers, and in 2011, it introduced a fine finish handheld paint sprayer that sprays lacquers, varnishes, urethanes, sealers, stains and enamels. Contractor equipment also includes pressure washers, and scarifiers that remove markings on roads and other surfaces.
The Lubrication segment focuses its engineering, marketing and sales of two lubrication applications: vehicle services and industrial. The Lubrication segment markets and sells its lubrication equipment worldwide, although the bulk of its sales come from North America. Its lubrication products are sold through independent third party distributors and oil jobbers, and directly to original equipment manufacturers. The Compa ny supplies pumps, hose reels, meters, valves and accessorie! s to the ! motor vehicle lubrication industry. Its customers include fast oil change facilities, service garages, fleet service centers, automobile dealerships and auto parts stores.
In industrial lubrication, the Company offers systems, components, and accessories for the automatic lubrication of industrial and commercial equipment, compressors, turbines, and on- and off-road vehicles. Industries served include gas transmission and petrochemical, pulp and paper, mining and construction, agricultural equipment, food and beverage, material handling, metal manufacturing and wind energy. It offers products that automatically lubricate bearings, gears and generators, and products that evacuate and dispense oil, grease, anti-freeze and hydraulic fluids, from wind power components.
- [By Brian Pacampara]
Based on the aggregated intelligence of 180,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool’s free investing community, fluid handling solutions specialist Graco (NYSE: GGG ) has earned a respected four-star ranking.
- [By Seth Jayson]
Graco (NYSE: GGG ) is expected to report Q1 earnings on April 24. Here’s what Wall Street wants to see:
The 10-second takeaway
Comparing the upcoming quarter to the prior-year quarter, average analyst estimates predict Graco’s revenues will increase 16.1% and EPS will expand 25.9%.
Top 5 Machinery Companies To Invest In Right Now: Sterling Consolidated Corp (STCC)
Sterling Consolidated Corp., incorporated on January 31, 2011, is a holding company. The Company’s operations are conducted through its four subsidiaries: Sterling Seal & Supply, Inc. (Sterling Seal), ADDR Properties, LLC (ADDR), Q5 Ventures, LLC (Q5), and Integrity Cargo Freight Corporation (Integrity). The Company through its subsidiary, Sterling Seal engages primarily in the distribution and sale of O-rings, rubber seals, oil seals, custom molded rubber parts, custom Teflon parts, Teflon rods, O-ring cord, bonded seals, O-ring kits, and stuffing box sealant. The Company also owns real property through its subsidiaries ADDR and Q5. In addition, the Company’s subsidiary Integrity Cargo Freight Corporation (Integrity) is a freight forwarding business. In September 2013, the Company announced the acquisition of Superior Seals and Service in High Point, NC.
Sterling Seal sells directly to smaller distributors and original equipment manufacturers in need of s eals. It offers a catalogue of standard sizes, and will take orders for special sizes not available in the standard catalogue. O-rings and the other products that Sterling Seal sells are used in a variety of industries, including automotive, pump, transmissions, oil and energy, machinery, and packaging. Integrity are primarily responsible for transporting products the Company order from its suppliers back to its warehouse in Neptune, NJ. After Sterling Seal confirms from its supplier that a product is ready to be picked up, Integrity Cargo is responsible for picking up the products and getting them to the dock and delivered to the Sterling Seal warehouse. ADDR owns a 28,000 square foot facility in Neptune, NJ. Q5 Ventures, LLC owns a 5,000 square foot facility in Apopka, Florida, which is used by Sterling Seal for its Florida operations.
- [By Peter Graham]
Small cap stocks Muscle Warfare International (OTCMKTS: MWAR), Portlogic Systems Inc (OTCMKTS: PGSY) and Sterling Consolidated Corp (OTCBB: STCC) were all the subject of a few paid promotions as recently as last week but they sure did not start the new week out right because all were sinking on Monday. So are these small cap stocks that are either the subject of promotions or investor awareness campaigns hot or not? Here is a quick reality check:
- [By Peter Graham]
Small cap stocks Pulse Network Inc (OTCBB: TPNI), Sterling Consolidated Corp (OTCBB: STCC) and diaDexus, Inc (OTCMKTS: DDXS) have or could start to sizzle for investors. However, I should also mention that two of these stocks have been the subject of paid promotions while a third apparently has not been, and could be the real deal. With that in mind, here is a closer look along with a quick reality check about all three small caps to help you decide whether they are hot or not: