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Gorman-Rupp: Firefighting, Hydrants and Pumps

08/16/2018 5:00 am EST

Focus: INDUSTRIALS

Mike Larson

Editor, Weiss' Safe Money Report and Under-the-Radar Stocks

Rather than get swept up in overhyped, overowned, overloved tech stocks, investors should focus on companies with real businesses and real profits, asserts Mike Larson, editor of Under-the-Radar Stocks.

Gorman-Rupp Co. (GRC), based in Mansfield, Ohio, manufactures and sells pumps and related equipment in more than 140 countries worldwide.

It sells large truck-mounted and hydrant-based pumps to the firefighting industry, high-volume pumps used to deliver drinking water and control flooding by municipalities around the U.S., flow-control pumps used to move petroleum products from the wellhead to the refinery by the energy industry, and more.

GRC is no Silicon Valley startup with a wing-and-a-prayer business plan and a history of money-torching operations. Instead, it was founded all the way back in 1933 during the Great Depression by two unemployed engineers.

Over the years, Gorman-Rupp’s pumps played a role in a wide variety of historical events. They helped build the St. Lawrence Seaway in the 1950s, for instance, and were instrumental in helping clean up after the Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1989. More recently, the firm shipped dozens of pumps to Iraq and Afghanistan to help with the post-war rebuilding efforts in the early 2000s.

In the first quarter, GRC reported $9.6 million, or 37 cents per share, in profit. That was up 88% from $5.1 million, or 19 cents per share, in the year-earlier period. But even if you exclude the boost from the Tax Cuts and Job Act, you get a rise of almost 37% in operating income.

What else do I like about GRC? How about the fact the company has paid a dividend for 273 consecutive quarters! It has also increased that payout for 45 straight years, a period that includes the Great Financial Crisis, the Dot-Com recession, the Savings & Loan meltdown, and more. We’re still not talking about a huge yield — roughly 1.4% at recent prices. But that record of consistency is impressive.

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