Cascade (NYSE:CAE) manufactures equipment that attaches to forklifts. If that's not enough to get your blood boiling, its stock price has nearly doubled over the past year, and the firm is growing rapidly in China and other Asian Pacific markets.

Cascade announced year-end results on Monday. Our recent Fool by Numbers will walk you through the impressive fourth quarter that saw growth in sales and earnings of 10% and 24%, respectively. Full-year results weren't as uplifting, as sales advanced 6% and earnings grew 8%, but the overall news was enough to send the shares to new highs for the year.

Given the essentially flat domestic sales growth, what must have lifted the hearts of investors was Cascade's huge international growth. Sales in the company's Chinese operations rose 47%, along with a 152% jump in operating profit during the fourth quarter. Sales growth was strong in Europe and in the Asia Pacific regions, as well.

In one respect, Cascade is similar to fast-food operator Yum! Brands (NYSE:YUM), in that China is driving overall growth while core markets stagnate. Cascade's overview of recent industry growth also confirms this trend in the lift truck market, but don't give up hope in the domestic markets just yet.

Ethanol production is heating up the heartland and driving gains in Deere's (NYSE:DE) agricultural and commercial equipment. Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) is also hanging in there with exposure to mining and construction machinery. Cascade works primarily with "companies and industries that use lift trucks for materials handling" but also "construction and agricultural vehicles."

At recent prices, investors may be better off waiting until growth in the company's core North American operations start picking up some steam. Current trends have continued to lift Cascade to new heights, and China will increasingly influence future results. Still, though, the company is a play on economically sensitive industries, and investors can expect stock price volatility resulting from fluctuations in Cascade's core markets.

For related Foolishness:

•  Uplifting Results at Cascade: Fool by Numbers

•  Warren Buffett's Priceless Investment Advice

•  Cascade Lifted to New Heights

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.