1Q02: another boom or just a fizzled bust?

Following a year of wild ups and downs in many stock markets, paralleled on a less widely fluctuating scale by the controls field, financial gauges indicated that many industries settled in for some significant gains during first quarter 2002 (1Q02). The Control Engineering Index managed to gain almost 5% in the first quarter, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average increased about 4%, and the...

06/01/2002


Following a year of wild ups and downs in many stock markets, paralleled on a less widely fluctuating scale by the controls field, financial gauges indicated that many industries settled in for some significant gains during first quarter 2002 (1Q02). The Control Engineering Index managed to gain almost 5% in the first quarter, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average increased about 4%, and the NASDAQ declined more than 5%.


However, the roller coaster of market value among many controls companies continued into 1Q02 with a drop that wasn't reflected by the CE Index's gain during the same period. This decline was attributed largely to the drop in Tyco International's stock price in 1Q02. Tyco represents the largest market value among companies in the CE Index, though it probably has less volume in actual controls products than other large companies in the index.


Despite these mixed tidings, news from other economic indicators was excellent. For example, a 5% increase in gross domestic product (GDP) in 1Q02 apparently surprised many analysts, who still seem to be reaching for explanations. One good rationalization is that the economy has mostly recovered from the unique influence of last September's World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks, though further adjustments still need to be made. Meanwhile, the interest rates affected appear to have stabilized, and signs that they might increase slightly in the near future seem to be positive.

If the momentum of 1Q02 can hold up for a while, the accompanying upswing in the controls industry could continue throughout the rest of 2002.

Control Engineering Stock Index

Stock prices

($)

% chg.

Annual

Price/

12-mo.

($) at close

close

in

52-wk.

div.

earn.

EPS

12/31/01

3/29/02

1Q02

high

yield

ratio

($)

Ametek Inc. 31.89

37.21

16.7

40.2

0.54

19

1.98

Badger Meter Inc. 22.43

27.5

22.6

33.50

3.64

27

1.03

Danaher Corp. 60.31

71.02

17.8

74.25

0.14

35

2.01

Eaton Corp. 74.41

80.98

8.8

85.5

2.22

34

2.39

Emerson Electric Co. 57.10

57.39

0.5

72.09

2.79

26

2.18

Flowserve 26.61

32.01

20.3

33.3

0

76

0.42

Honeywell Inc. 33.82

38.27

13.2

53.9

2.09

NC

-0.12

K-Tron International 10.45

12.25

17.2

15.45

0

28

0.43

National Instruments 37.46

41.82

11.6

43.5

0

62

0.68

Rockwell Automation 17.86

20.06

12.3

47.2

3.49

19

1.08

Siemens 65.48

65.85

0.6

80

0

8

8.78

Thermo Electron 23.86

20.73

-13.1

28.97

0

NC

-0.01

Transmation Inc. 1.37

1.15

-16.1

3.11

0

NC

-0.58

Tyco International Ltd. 58.90

32.32

-45.1

60.09

0.31

12

2.71

EPS = earnings per share
Yield = % based on closing price
Div. = dividend
NC = not calculable due to negative numbers
Source: Control Engineering with data from Cnet Investor (Boulder, Colo., www.investor.cnet.com , 303/938-1877)





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