E A Foodie Note And An Industrial Stock

While I am not sure what an industrial stock might be, Barron's today quotes William Blair analyst Nick Heymann as favoring this sector. Only one of his selections is outside the USA and a smallish cap. He tips BBD/B in Canada at C$3.80/sh. Curiously enough, this is a stock I was recently credited with recommending the same stock inInvestor's Digest of Canada, the Canadian Barron's. Naturally I am particularly proud of being treated as an expert on Canadian shares by this magazine published in Toronto. The article quoting me came out on August 1 while the Barron's one appeared August 11.

Today I got extremely positive news for my Kinder Morgan Partners stock, a purely USA holding which soared 17.87% so far today on news that the Kinder Morgan group will abandon the Master Limited Partnership structure and merge it into its parent. The Kinder Morgan outfit was not mentioned by the Barron's MLP panelists whose ideas were also published today.

At least one piece of good news from India as it moves toward privatization and liberalization is notable. It is not the ipo of Steel Authority of India Ltd, but the launch of Indian real estate investment trusts, of which more below for paid subscribers.

More on this good news and other developments follows from our stocks, along with more details on the Toronto share for paid subscribers and other news from India, Ireland, Israel, Britain, Canada, Brazil, Australia, Portugal, and Singapore, plus a company quarterly of exceptional juiciness and a recommendation for foodies.

*Ituran, the Israeli location software company, broke records almost across the board in its Q2. ITRN reports in dollars and we got into it because some of its systems were used to create the prototype Iron Dome which protects Israel against missiles lobbed from Gaza, the casus belli of the latest attack on it. While Israeli military action would be considered more “proportionate” if it did not have the means to protect its civilian population from Gaza missiles, I am happy that they have the Iron Dome—now being sold to South Korea which also has civilians very close to a border with an irreconcilable adversary. (Thanks to Asia-hand reader BM for sending me the Korean news.)

These days, Iron Dome having been Pentagon-ized, Ituran mostly sticks to its main business of location based software, sold worldwide to car-hire companies and trucker firms needing to keep track of their vehicles. And what a business it is! ITRN produced record revenues in Q2 of $46.6 mn, up 8% year/year. Its operating profits also his a record, of $12.1 mn. Its gross margins hit another record of $24.8 mn and its leapt to 53.3% from 50.9% a year earlier. Its operating margins came to a record 25.9% vs prior year's 23.5%. And its EPS rolled in at 35 cents/sh vs prior year's 32 cents.

Ituran declared a 19 cent dividend per share, based on its higher metrics and better cash flow and cash position. The divvie will be paid Oct. 7, right after Yom Kippur.

*A DC reader wrongly interpreted the drop last week in the price of Ascendas India Trust as a sign that the Singapore-based REIT investing in India is a possible “roach motel”. It dropped 25% in the opening trade Friday last week to 50 cents after it closed at the equivalent of 63 cents in Singapore.

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