When Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway
And so it was that, when Hidden Gems lead analyst Tom Gardner saw a similar value in a supplier to the manufactured housing industry -- Drew Industries
Similarly, when I saw that Clayton competitor Champion Enterprises
But that gap in performance, it seems, is starting to close. True, other companies in this industry continue to lose money, with Fleetwood
According to its fiscal Q2 2005 earnings release, top-line growth year to date came in at a respectable 18% over the first half of fiscal 2004. Gross margins grew even more strongly, up 27%. And net income increased an impressive 78%.
Perhaps most importantly, Champion generated positive free cash flow in the first half of 2005 -- a feat it hadn't managed to accomplish by this time one year ago. FCF from continuing operations came in at $6.9 million. Granted, that's not a lot of money in an absolute sense. But it's a considerable improvement over the company's $31.9 million in negative free cash flow in the first six months of last year.
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Fool contributor Rich Smith owns no shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article.