Wise men say that you can deep-fry nearly anything. Well, the same goes for filtering, which is what Pall's (NYSE:PLL) products do to an array of runny substances ranging from oil and water to pharmaceuticals and bodily fluids. Between its two major segments -- industrial and life sciences -- New York-based Pall does pretty well for itself. And don't call Pall a filter company; "fluid management specialist" is the preferred nomenclature.

Such clever monikers may be one of many tactics Pall uses to differentiate itself from competitors. It has to scrap for market share with the filtration arms of giants like Siemens (NYSE:SI), General Electric (NYSE:GE), and 3M (NYSE:MMM). Additionally, there are small to mid-sized companies to fend off. On the industrial side, both Donaldson (NYSE:DCI) and ESCO Technologies (NYSE:ESE) wouldn't mind helping themselves to a piece of its revenues. Pall isn't alone in the life sciences segment either. There are other longtime players such as Millipore (NYSE:MIL), which has been around nearly as long as Pall, a seasoned sexagenarian.

With so many fish in the fluid processing sea, Pall's owners should take pleasure in its continued sales growth, though it is expected to slow: Management capped full-year growth expectations at 4% in local currency. Last quarter's results were reported as follows.


(in millions)

Net Income
(in millions)

Earnings Per Share

Q1 2009




Q1 2008








The strengthening dollar lowered Pall's first-quarter sales by about $7 million, or 1.3%. Next quarter's top line should suffer more because of the precipitous weakening of the euro and British pound toward the end of its first quarter.

Foolish takeaway
Pall appears to be a solid company with management that is prepared to guide it through the oncoming economic onslaught. However, its market price seems to be in tune with its prospects. If it takes a walloping down the line, I might be persuaded to reconsider. Add it to the watch list, and keep looking.

Further reading:

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