Editor's note: An earlier version of this story indicated that Otter Tail's plastics division was for sale, which is not the case. The Fool and the author wish to apologize for any consufion this error may have caused.

Mini-conglomerate Otter Tail (NASDAQ:OTTR) just turned in another fine quarter, sending the stock price up more than 5% this morning. It's a well-deserved boost, too -- Otter Tail was up against a fine year-ago quarter for its revenue comparison, and Wall Street had expected little or no improvement.

Instead, we got a 9.2% sales boost and 43% higher earnings (from continuing operations, and after the preferred dividend), with management underlining what had looked like hard-to-reach full-year guidance and describing the results of nearly every segment as "above expectations."

This Motley Fool Hidden Gems pick isn't a global giant like 3M (NYSE:MMM) or General Electric (NYSE:GE), but its operations are nearly as diverse. One year ago, the company relied on income from heavy construction and plastic pipes to overcome weakness in food ingredients and electricity shortages, on the back of delayed coal shipments. The good often outweighs the bad when some segment or other happens to fall on hard times.

This time, the Otter showed what it can do when it's firing on all cylinders. The plastics manufacturing segment is no longer the star of the show, but the division is still holding up rather well, and it does contribute positive numbers to the bottom line.

It's hard to get excited about a small electric utility that also deals in health care, potato products, and wind-tower manufacturing. Maybe that explains the mere four analysts following the stock, despite its billion-dollar market cap. That's why this stock is a Hidden Gems pick, and its market-beating 18% gain in value over the last 12 months sure sounds exciting enough to me.

3M is a Motley Fool Inside Value pick, and Otter Tail is a Hidden Gems recommendation. Try any of our Foolish newsletters free for 30 days.

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Fool contributor Anders Bylund holds no position in any of the companies discussed here. You can check out Anders' holdings if you like, and Foolish disclosure will make your day, every day.