Dusting off the recesses of our brains, we might find our old Greek mythology files. Zeus, of course, looms large, but some may even recall other gods such as Poseidon, Aphrodite, and Apollo. There were Greek heroes too, like Jason and Perseus. And one character became the only Greek hero to turn Greek god -- Hercules.
Battling multiheaded nasties such as Hydra and Cerberus, Hercules and his Labors of victories were impressive, but in the end his feats are remembered only as myth. Hurco
Investors have been thoroughly impressed by the company's triumphs, jumping on the bandwagon so fast that they might be confused with New England Patriots fans. (Were there ever more than a handful of Pats followers before the Super Bowl wins?) Let's take a look to see what's behind the near-doubling of Hurco's stock price over the past month.
The company, which provides advanced machines for the metalworking industry, delivered record results on multiple fronts. Revenues rose 28% to $31 million. Hurco highlighted its new line of computerized machine tools as the source of its success. It also indicated that 18% of its revenue increase was a result of a stronger euro. Sales growth was nice, but even better, its new-order bookings increased to $32.9 million, or 47% higher from the same period a year ago.
Not to be outdone by its growth, the company also took a 2x4 to its operating margins that would make wrestler "Hacksaw" Jim Dugan proud. Its profit margins took off, improving to 14.2%, a dramatic 49.5% better than last year's level.
So what happens when you mix explosive growth with dynamite margin improvements? Boom! You double your earnings. Hurco's fiscal 2005 second-quarter earnings of $3.3 million almost doubled last year's figure of $1.7 million.
With earnings up 90%, we can see why shareholders are excited about Hurco's stock. With the stock's rapid rise in recent months, some observers might think it's overvalued. That's understandable. But with growth like this, it's hard to argue that this enterprise is grossly overvalued. These supersized exploits are no myth.
Fool contributor Jeremy MacNealy does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned.