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Shares of Altra Holdings, Inc. (AIMC - Snapshot Report) touched a new 52-week high of $30.44 during its trading session on Jul 9. This represents an increase over the previous high of $30.10 reached on May 28.  

Altra Holdings closed the trading day on Jul 9 at $29.94, reflecting a solid year-to-date return of 88.9%. The trading volume for the session was 0.052 million shares. Further upside potential exists for this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) industrial electrical equipment maker as can be deduced from its earnings estimate revisions in the last 60 days and expected earnings growth of 19.9% for 2013.

Growth Drivers

Altra Holdings posted quite decent financial results for the first quarter 2013 with its non-GAAP earnings per share coming in at 45 cents versus 40 cents earned in the year-ago quarter. Results were in-line compared with the Zacks Consensus Estimate.

Fewer shipping days led to a revenue decline of 3.7% in the quarter. Offsetting this was lower cost of sales that helped improve gross margin by 50 basis points to settle at 30%. Interest expense was down by 55%.    

Altra Holdings also announced a quarterly dividend rate increase of 25% for the second quarter 2013. The rate currently is 10 cents (or 40 cents on an annualized basis).

Additionally, Altra Holdings had a positive earnings surprise in all of the four trailing quarters with an average of 18.7%. This along with the decent first quarter 2013 results has raised optimism for a better performance ahead. We currently have an Earnings ESP (Read: Zacks Earnings ESP: A Better Method) of +2.4% for 2013 and +18.7% for 2014.

Estimate Revisions Show Potency

Over the last 60 days, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for Altra Holdings increased by 1.0% to $2.12 per share for 2014 while the same remained stable for 2013.

Other stocks to watch out for in the industry are Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd. (KWHIY), with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) while Chart Industries Inc. (GTLS - Snapshot Report) and Middleby Corp. (MIDD - Analyst Report), each has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
 

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