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Lincoln Electric (LECO) Hits 52-Week High: What's Driving It?

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Shares of Lincoln Electric Holdings, Inc. (LECO - Free Report) scaled a fresh 52-week high of $118.48 during trading session on Dec 7, before retracting a bit to close at $118.26. The company’s forecast-topping third-quarter 2020 results, focus on expanding in the automation solutions market, as well as cost-reduction actions have contributed to this rally.

Lincoln Electric’s shares have gained 28.2% in the past year, against the industry’s decline of 5.4%.

Q3 Earnings & Sales Top Estimates

The company reported adjusted earnings per share of $1.10 per share for the September-end quarter, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 79 cents. Revenues of $669 million also beat the consensus mark of $611 million.

Driving Factors

The company is focused on new product development and utilizing digital platforms to engage customers. Focus on its new additive services business will position Lincoln Electric as a manufacturer of large scale 3D-printed metal spell parts, prototypes and tooling for industrial customers — a major growth prospect. It also continues to invest automation to support the 2020 strategy initiatives.

Lincoln Electric has been benefiting from several acquisitions done over the past few years. It acquired Inovatech Engineering Corporation and Coldwater Machine Company, Pro Systems LLC in 2018, which in turn, bolstered its automated cutting solutions and application expertise. In 2019, Lincoln Electric acquired the soldering business of Worthington Industries (WOR - Free Report) , which broadened the Harris Products Group’s portfolio of industry-leading consumables. The company’s Baker Industries buyout enabled it to expand automation and additive strategies. The company also acquired a controlling interest in Askaynak — a leading Turkish producer of welding consumables and equipment. The buyout further boosts the company's regional growth strategy in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Lincoln Electric is focusing on cost management to sustain margins in the backdrop of weak demand. These measures include reduced work hours, overtime, reducing headcount, deferring annual wage increases and freezing hiring. The company has also cut down discretionary spending. It has closed three facilities and initiated two facility rationalizations so far this year. The company’s cost-reduction actions are now anticipated to provide benefits of $80-$85 million in 2020. Exiting 2020, the company expects to realize $10-$11 million in permanent costs savings per quarter.

Positive Estimate Revisions

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the company’s ongoing-year earnings has moved 10% north over the past 60 days and is currently pegged at $3.96 per share.

Zacks Rank & Other Stocks to Consider

Lincoln currently flaunts a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Other top-ranked stocks in the Industrial Products sector include iRobot Corporation (IRBT - Free Report) and Crown Holdings, Inc. (CCK - Free Report) . While iRobot sports a Zacks Rank #1, Crown Holdings carries a Zacks Rank of 2 (Buy), at present.

iRobot has an estimated earnings growth rate of 18.8% for the ongoing year. Shares of the company have appreciated 75.7% in the past year.

Crown Holdings has a projected earnings growth rate of 11.7% for fiscal 2020. Over the past year, the company’s shares have gained 29.6%.

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