The elusive Castings may try to hide its light under a bushel but it is a strong company that is a m...
The elusive Castings may try to hide its light under a bushel but it is a strong company that is a market leader in its sector, with massive cash reserves and regular dividend growth.
Unlike many companies, which court press attention despite the lack of any news, good or bad, Castings, a Midlands-based engineering business, shuns the headlines.
Over the past 30 years, shares in the company have outperformed the UK stock market nearly threefold and other quoted engineering groups nearly ninefold.
Castings makes vehicle parts for customers including Toyota, BMW, Volvo and Scania. It makes brackets, manifolds, bearing caps and other components for the automotive industry that must be cast in iron or graphite. Its largest customer is Scania, the Swedish truck manufacturer.
Castings exports half its output, which reached £55.5m last year, and turns in operating profits of 13-15% per year, well above the norm for engineering companies, many of which have been hit by slowing demand and the pound's strength against the euro.
Chairman and managing director, Brian Cooke, 62, was recently quoted as saying that one secret of his good record was not listening to 'crap' from management consultants and financial analysts about ways to run companies.
He also said industrialists who complain about the strength of sterling are often seeking an 'excuse' for 'pitiful' lack of good management.
Cooke's outspoken views have made him into something of a cult figure in the Midlands manufacturing community, although he is little known in the wider business world.
He has put large sums into capital investment, likely to be £6m this year, minimised costs, cut waste, increased quality and boosted links with important customers.
This article first appeared in Investor's Week, a sister paper to Investment Week, focusing on individual stocks.
52Wk High 3/ 8/2002 179.5p
52Wk Low 11/15/2001 126.5p
YTD change 24.5p
% Change 6.33%
1 Yr Total Return 28.35%
Market Cap 76.26m
What made financial headlines over the weekend?
Regardless of Brexit outcome
Prefer hard assets and cashflow
£15bn investment gap
Replaced by Stephen McPhillips