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End-Market Strength Aids Donaldson (DCI) Despite Cost Woes

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Donaldson Company, Inc. (DCI - Free Report) benefits from its presence in the diverse end markets, including construction, mining, aerospace, defense, and food & beverage. Also, a strong product portfolio, solid demand and a focus on innovation bode well for DCI. Its Engine Products’ sales are benefiting from growth in aerospace & defense, and aftermarket sales.

Increased levels of equipment utilization across the end markets and market share gains in less mature geographies are poised to aid the Aftermarket business. Aerospace and defense are also expected to perform well, supported by improved commercial aerospace market conditions. DCI expects the Industrial Products segment to perform well, driven by sales growth in industrial filtration solutions and gas turbine systems.

Donaldson’s acquisition of Purilogics, LLC (June 2022) strengthened its life sciences portfolio by leveraging the acquired entity’s unique product offerings. The acquisition of Solaris Biotechnology (in November 2021) strengthened its presence across several end markets, including food and beverage, biopharma and other major life sciences. Also, DCI acquired Pearson Arnold Industrial Services in the same month. Acquired assets are strengthening DCI’s top line.

DCI’s measures to reward its shareholders through dividend payments and share buybacks are noteworthy. Donaldson paid out dividends worth $110.1 million and repurchased shares worth $170.6 million during fiscal 2022 (ended July 2022). The board also announced a 4.5% hike in its quarterly dividend rate in May 2022.

However, Donaldson’s Special Applications end market is experiencing weakness due to decreased disk drive sales arising from the COVID-19 shutdowns in mainland China. DCI’s high labor and freight costs, and supply-chain issues persist to erode its margins and profitability. Management expects continued pressure from high costs of raw materials, freight and labor in the quarters ahead.

Forex woes are an added headwind to DCI, given its widespread presence in the international markets. Foreign exchange headwinds are expected to affect sales by 4% in fiscal 2023 (ending July 2023).

Zacks Rank & Key Picks

Some better-ranked companies from the Industrial Products sector are discussed below:

Enerpac Tool Group Corp. (EPAC - Free Report) delivered an average four-quarter earnings surprise of 3.4%. EPAC presently sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks.

EPAC’s earnings estimates have increased 9.1% for fiscal 2023 (ending August 2023) in the past 60 days. The stock has gained 23.4% in the past six months.

Applied Industrial Technologies, Inc. (AIT - Free Report) presently has a Zacks Rank of 1 and a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 24.8%, on average.

AIT’s earnings estimates have increased 3% for fiscal 2023 (ending June 2023) in the past 60 days. The stock has risen 32.7% in the past six months.

IDEX Corporation (IEX - Free Report) presently has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). IEX’s earnings surprise in the last four quarters was 5.7%, on average.

In the past 60 days, IDEX’s earnings estimates have increased 1.8% for 2022. The stock has rallied 25.3% in the past six months.

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