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Barnes Group Inc. (B - Snapshot Report) continues to fly under the radar even as it grows earnings by the double digits. Not too shabby for a 154-year old company. This Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) is also a value stock, with a price-to-book ratio of just 2.1.
Founded in 1857 as a spring manufacturer, Barnes now manufactures a diverse group of products in two business segments: Precision Components and Logistics and Manufacturing Services.
It makes custom springs for the automotive and other industries as well as components for jet engines and airframes. The company has global customers and operates from 50 locations on 4 continents.
Barnes Beat By 30% in Q4
On Feb 17, Barnes reported its fourth quarter and full year 2011 results and, for the fourth quarter in a row, beat the Zacks Consensus. Earnings per share were 43 cents compared to the Zacks Consensus of 33 cents.
Sales jumped 9.7% to $283.3 million from $258.2 million a year ago. For the full year, sales climbed 13.7% to $1.2 billion.
Both of the segments saw sales growth in the fourth quarter. Logistics and Manufacturing Services saw sales rise 10% to $122 million due to strong organic sales growth in the aerospace aftermarket business. Precision Components saw sales increase 9% to $163.6 million.
The backlog grew to $582 million, up 21% from the end of 2010.
Positive Momentum to Continue in 2012
The company saw improving conditions across its end-markets in 2011. As a result, it saw double digit increases in orders and the backlog.
Still, the growth is expected to continue in 2012. Barnes forecasts revenue growth of 6% to 9% in 2012. Earnings are expected in the range of $1.79 to $1.93, up 9% to 18% from 2011.
Zacks Consensus Estimates Rise for 2012
Given the company's bullish guidance, the analysts have been raising 2012 estimates. 4 have moved higher in the last month, pushing up the Zacks Consensus to $1.86 from $1.75. That is in the middle of the company's guidance range.
It is also earnings growth of 13.4%.
Still a Value
Barnes is still a value stock, even as shares are near 2-year highs.
The company isn't dirt cheap, however. It trades with a forward P/E of 14.6 which is just under the 15x cut-off I use for value stocks, but is more expensive then the overall S&P 500 which is trading at 13.6x.
But it has other solid fundamentals including a 1-year return on equity (ROE) of 11.5%.
Barnes also rewards shareholders with a dividend yielding 1.5%.
Barnes is looking for another year of solid revenue growth in 2012. Value investors looking for double digit growth should keep the company on their radar.
Tracey Ryniec is the Value Stock Strategist for Zacks.com. She is also the Editor of the Turnaround Trader and Insider Trader services. You can follow her on twitter at @TraceyRyniec.