Shares of small-cap lift-truck equipment firm Cascade
Cascade's stock volume averages less than 100,000 shares traded per day, considerably less than the millions of shares traded by larger industrial and logistics firms such as Cascade customers Caterpillar
To illustrate, shares are up about 3.5% today after Cascade released third-quarter earnings last night. They jumped 14% after second-quarter results also came in ahead of analyst expectations, and advanced 7% after Cascade's first-quarter results.
Overall third-quarter results were quite strong. Total sales grew 9.1%, while diluted earnings increased 11.9%. North America, Europe, and China all posted double-digit sales growth, with the rest of the Asian Pacific region the only laggard, with flat sales. Europe has rarely posted positive operating results over the past few years, and it continued to be the laggard for the quarter.
A stock with such considerable fluctuations offers plenty of chances to take advantage of Mr. Market's mood swings, Cascade has been benefiting from strong global economies and increased demand for its products, which are used on forklifts and other load-handling equipment. Its stock has more than quintupled since the economic expansion of 2002 began, but there have been bumps along the way; investors sold the stock following weaker quarters, amid worries of a slowing industrial landscape.
Thanks to Cascade's current strong performance, now may not be the best time to pick up the shares. Still, the company has solid cash-generating capabilities, low levels of debt, and global diversification. The best time to check back would be when economic worries resurface again. And since the shares are thinly traded, investors have a better opportunity to benefit from their own due diligence.
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Fool contributor Ryan Fuhrmann has no financial interest in any company mentioned. The Fool has an ironclad disclosure policy. Feel free to email him with feedback or to discuss any companies mentioned further.