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Author: blesto Big red star, 1000 posts Global Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 13  
Subject: NPK Date: 7/11/2011 11:00 PM
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Out of your list of Rising Star picks I find National Presto Industries, Inc. (NYSE:NPK) one of the most fascinating.
They've been around for over a hundred years. Founded in 1905 in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. They manufactured industrial-size pressure canners, known as "canner retorts," for commercial canneries. At that time National Presto, then called Northwestern Steel and Iron Works.
http://www.gopresto.com/information/history.php

I've just begun to go through their most recent 10-K.
http://www.gopresto.com/proxy/NPK_2010_Form_10-K.pdf
So far after reading about their 3 major business segments, the one that manufactures 40mm ammo for the U.S.ARMY sort of reminds me of part of their history during WW2 when they converted over to war-time production for the military. The aquisitions of AMTEC Corporation in 2001, Spectra Technologies LLC in 2003, and Amron, a division of AMTEC, holds the assets that were purchased from Amron LLC on January 30, 2006,(all defense products manufacturers) is not such a far fetched segment for Presto to be in. It seems to be a fit that makes sense to me. Part of their DNA, so to speak.

Then their Absorbent Products segment business (Presto Absorbent Products, Inc.) was formed on November 21, 2001 to purchase assets from RMED International, a company that manufactured primarily private label diapers. On October 6, 2003, the Company purchased the assets of NCN Hygienic Products, Inc., a Marietta, Georgia company which manufactured adult incontinence products etc...
This may be a play on the retiring baby-boom generation that may need this type of product, not to mention people are still making babies at record setting paces that will need diapers.

Then there is, of course, their major Housewares/Small Appliance Segment, which is what most people know them for. (I love my hot air popcorn popper!) Most of the manufacturing in this segment is in China.

The CEO (the founder's family decendent) owns, along with the family trust, controlling interest of the shares. Executives and management own substantial shares and have a vested interest in the company's success. I like that.

A solid dividend paying company. The payout ratio of 92.00 is of some concern. I like to see a payout ratio of <50.

All in all, so far, I like what I see. If this current market down-turn continues, I just may have to pick me up a few shares of this historic American company.
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