Shares of Briggs & Stratton (NYSE:BGG), best known for making generators, outboard motors, and lawn mower engines, rose 10% in Wednesday's trading following the announcement that the company agreed to buy privately held Simplicity Manufacturing, a manufacturer of outdoor power equipment, for just less than $230 million in cash.

The acquisition stands to have a significant, if not garden-shaking, impact on Briggs & Stratton's results. Simplicity has revenues of $285 million for the 10 months ended April 30; it's forecasting $350 million in sales for the year ending June 30. That would be a nice addition to Briggs & Stratton's approximately $1.4 billion in revenues through the nine months ended this March -- especially considering that Simplicity is also profitable and expected to boost Briggs & Stratton EPS by $0.35 to $0.45 during fiscal 2005.

It must be difficult for investors to find fault with many of Briggs & Stratton's moves in recent years. Sales and profits have grown in each of the last three full fiscal years and are going strong again so far this time around. (The company is in key selling season as we speak.) And the firm has routinely thrown off substantial operating and free cash flows well in advance of reported net income.

In the last 12 months, investors have eaten up this dividend-paying company's performance operationally: Its shares have positively crushed the S&P 500 over that period. Given that, you might think the company might have used its hot stock, rather than cash, as an acquisition currency. Warren Buffett, for one, would likely have taken the company's side in saying, generally speaking, that management should treat their company's shares as more valuable than its cash.

At any rate, Briggs & Stratton -- much like its red-hot customerToro (NYSE:TTC) -- is likely to remain a strong performer until the housing market sees a prolonged slowdown. Failing that, management looks pretty cagey in looking for ways to pick up scale, as well as new products, revenue and earnings, without issuing more shares while the getting is good.

Fool contributor Dave Marino-Nachison doesn't own any of the companies mentioned.