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 ST. PAUL, Minn., April 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Pentair, Inc.

(NASDAQ-NMS: PNTA), the St. Paul-based manufacturer of industrial products and paper, today hosted its 25th annual meeting of shareholders at the Northland Inn, Brooklyn Park, Minn. More than 240 shareholders and other persons attended the meeting, during which Chairman and Chief Executive Officer D. Eugene Nugent expressed enthusiasm for the company's continued performance improvements.
 "Our performance in the first quarter of 1992 saw an 18 percent increase in earnings and a one percent increase in sales over the same period in the previous year," Nugent said. "First quarter net sales were $292.8 million, generating net income of $8.7 million or 64 cents per share. As a result, our first quarter became the seventh consecutive quarter in which profits were up from their comparable prior-year periods."
 Nugent illustrated the progress Pentair has made since its first annual meeting, noting that the company joined the Fortune 500 list of industrial companies in 1985, ranking 440th for the company's 1984 results.
 "In contrast, the 1991 Fortune 500 rankings have us placed at 306th in sales, 162nd in return on equity and 80th for return to shareholders," Nugent said. "While we may be smaller than most of the Fortune 500 corporations, we consistently manage to perform in the upper 25 percent of that group -- and that is precisely where we want to be."
 Nugent announced he intends to retire at the end of 1992 in accordance with Pentair's policy for senior executives. He noted that he will continue as chairman of the board, as chairman of several board communities and as a major shareholder. Following the meeting, the board of directors elected Winslow Buxton, president and chief operating officer, to succeed Nugent as chief executive in August 1992.
 "I am confident that Winslow Buxton and our excellent corporate and subsidiary management teams are prepared to lead Pentair to new heights of performance," Nugent said. "They are committed to a course of action that will ensure Pentair continues to be a top performing business building value for all its stakeholders."
 Pentair shareholders re-elected incumbent Directors B. Kristine Johnson, Quentin J. Hietpas and John H. Grunewald to the board of directors with terms expiring in 1995. Continuing directors include George N. Butzow, Winslow H. Buxton, Harold V. Haverty, H. William Lurton, D. Eugene Nugent and James A. Thwaits. Also, shareholders approved two proposals related to compensation for outside directors and approved the Deloitte and Touche firm as auditors for 1992.
 During a question and answer session, company officers were asked if Pentair was still pursuing its acquisition program. Nugent said Pentair continues its acquisition activities and has communicated its interests throughout the investment banking community and with major corporations.
 "The mergers and acquisitions market has been very slow," Nugent explained. "However, I believe we will be able to accomplish our objective of purchasing an industrial manufacturing company having annual sales of between $100 and $500 million. We are determined to maintain our standards and seek only those acquisition candidates which offer strong potential for added shareholder value."
 Shareholders also asked if the company was contemplating selling its paper businesses. Buxton explained that Pentair frequently reviews its and others' businesses to determine whether these businesses meet Pentair's requirements for growth and earnings.
 "In recent months, we have had some discussions concerning the possible sale of our paper businesses," Buxton said. "These discussions have not led to the point where we could comment on the possibility of a sale."
 Pentair officers were queried about the earnings potential of its recycled paper business. Pentair Paper Group President Ron V. Kelly said that Cross Pointe Paper Corp. is expected to continue making excellent contributions to Pentair earnings and that its recycled paper products had helped insulate it against current weakness in paper markets. Kelly stated that Pentair continues to invest capital in de- inking facilities to support the demand for recycled paper.
 Nugent concluded the meeting saying that when market conditions next trend upward, Pentair will be operating from strengths secured by its continuing investments in plants, products and people.
 "We are very encouraged by the steadily improving results we have reported," Nugent said. "Not only because they mean we can sustain performance in difficult times, but also because they reflect the increased potential of Pentair companies and indicate the earnings gains we should deliver as the economy improves."
 Pentair, Inc. is a St. Paul-based company comprised of 10 businesses which manufacture woodworking equipment, electric power tools, sporting ammunition, electrical enclosures, automotive service equipment, industrial lubrication systems, material dispensing equipment, pumps and paper. Pentair common stock is quoted on the NASDAQ National Market System under the symbol: PNTA.
 -0- 4/21/92
 /CONTACT: Mark Cain of Pentair, 612-636-7920/
 (PNTA) CO: Pentair, Inc. ST: Minnesota IN: SU:

AL -- MN025 -- 0947 04/21/92 17:56 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 21, 1992

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