4 industrial stocks with healthy growth prospects

These companies are showing positive signs of value recently and are expected to continue to grow.

By Benzinga Mar 20, 2013 9:48AM

Arrow Up Photodisc SuperStockBy Nelson Hem

The ongoing economic recovery could lead to strong earnings for certain stocks in the industrial sector in the latter half of this year, according to a new Oppenheimer research report.

The report highlighted four companies with attractive growth prospects: Honeywell International (HON), Nordson (NDSN), Regal Beloit (RBC) and Wesco International (WCC). Below we take a look at how these stocks have fared and what analysts expect from them.

In addition, the report also included Eaton (ETN), which last year reincorporation in Ireland, and Swiss company Pentair (PNR) among its potential earnings growth candidates.

Honeywell International

The share price of this diversified manufacturing company hit a new multiyear high Tuesday. The Morristown, New Jersey, S&P 500 component now sports a market capitalization near $58 billion. It offers a dividend yield near 2.2% as well.

Honeywell's long-term earnings per share growth forecast is more than 10%. And the return-on-equity is more than 24%, while the operating margin is higher than the industry average.

Of the 25 analysts surveyed by Thomson/First Call who follow this stock, 19 recommend buying the shares. But the upside potential, based on the analysts' mean price target relative to the current share price is only marginal.

Shares of Honeywell International have risen more than 14% year-to-date. And the stock has outperformed the Dow Jones Industrial Average ($INDU) over the past six months.


This Westlake, Ohio company makes products and systems for dispensing equipment, fluid management and surface treatment. The company has a market cap of more than $4 billion, as well as a dividend yield of about 0.9%.

The long-term earnings per share growth forecast is more than 13%, though the price-to-earnings ratio is higher than the industry average. Nordson has a return-on-equity of about 30%. The short interest is less than 1% of the float.

Four of the 10 analysts surveyed recommend buying shares, but none recommend selling them. And the mean price target, or where analysts expect the share price to go, is now more than 7% higher than the current share price.

The share price is still recovering from a pullback in February in the wake of a disappointing first-quarter report. But over the past six months, this stock has narrowly outperformed the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

Regal Beloit

This maker of electric motors, electric generators and mechanical motion control products is also trading near a multiyear high. The Beloit, Wisconsin company has a market cap near $3.7 billion and dividend yield of about 0.9%.

It has a long-term earnings per share growth forecast of more than 11%, and the price-to-earnings ratio is in line with the industry average. But the return on equity is only about 11%. Shares sold short represent about 3% of the float.

The consensus recommendation of analysts is to hold the stock, and they believe Regal Beloit has little room to grow, as their price target is only marginally higher than the current share price.

The share price has risen about 16% since the beginning of the year. Here, too, the stock has outperformed the Dow Jones Industrial Average over the past six months.

Wesco International

This wholesaler of electrical, industrial, communications products and construction materials said in its most recent quarterly report that is expects a strong second half of 2013. The $3.4 billion market cap company is headquartered in Pittsburgh, but it does not offer a dividend.

Wesco's long-term earnings per share growth forecast is almost 14%, and the return on equity is more than 15%. But note that short interest is more than 16% of the float.

For at least three months, the consensus recommendation has been to buy Wesco shares. However, the analysts' mean price target indicates potential upside of less than 5%, though that target would be a multiyear high.

The share price is up about 11% so far this year, despite pulling back a bit in the past few days. Over the past six months, the stock has outperformed the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

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Mar 20, 2013 10:06AM
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