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Agile Computing Authors: Betty Zakheim, Deep Bhattacharjee, David Dodd, Greg O'Connor, Dana Gardner

News Feed Item Reports on Briggs & Stratton

MIAMI, December 27, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --, a leading digital financial media company, Reports on Briggs & Stratton (NYSE: BGG), Douglas Dynamics (NASDAQ: PLOW), Altra Holdings (NASDAQ: AIMC) and Johnson Outdoors (NASDAQ: JOUT).

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Briggs & Stratton's board recently approved the pulling forward of its 12-cent quarterly cash dividend into 2012, protecting the company's shareholders from potential tax increases next year. The company said that the dividend, which was previously approved on Oct. 17, would be paid on Dec. 31 instead of Jan. 2. The record date remains Dec. 14. Briggs & Stratton is the latest company to move up its quarterly payout or issue a special end-of-year payment, in order to protect investors from potentially having to pay higher taxes on dividend income starting in January.

The company has a market cap of $980m and is currently trading at $20.62 a share. The stock is sitting just below its 52-week high of $20.86 and offers a dividend yield of 2.30%. The company was founded in 1908 and manufactures air-cooled gasoline engines for outdoor power equipment around the world. Its main operations consist of two segments, engines and power products. The largest institutional holder of the Milwaukee-based engine maker is currently Blackrock.

Some of its smaller competitors such as Johnson Outdoors with a market cap of $197mm, Douglas Dynamics with a market cap of $300mm, and Altra Holdings with a market cap $577mm, all are expected to outperform in 2013. Much of the sector will enjoy an increase in outdoor furniture sales due to the extreme weather events that have occurred around the world. Hurricane Sandy alone caused a tremendous amount of damage to outdoor furniture and many folks will be looking replace their items come the spring. With the consumer alive and well and customers continuing to spend this segment in the market is expected to exceed analyst expectations.  

BGG recently closed its $57 million cash acquisition in stock of Companhia Caetano Branco. Branco, founded in 1936, makes outdoor power equipment used primarily in light commercial applications in Brazil and employs about 150 workers there. Briggs said it financed the transaction from cash on hand, and that they do not expect it to have a significant impact on sales or earnings in fiscal 2013.

The company is expanding and has shown consistent growth for the last couple of years. When looking at the chart for the last 12-months there is a clear uptrend in place that is expected to continue into 2013. If the stock falls anywhere around $20 it is considered buying opportunity, with BGG expected to have another solid year.


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