Neenah Paper Inc.
) achieved a 52-week high of $45.00 during yesterday's trading
session, before sliding a notch lower to close at $44.85. The
stock recorded a solid year-over-year return of 56% on its
undeterred uptrend. The average trading volume aggregated 84,746
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Neenah Paper, a global manufacturer of premium, performance-based
papers and specialty products used in a variety of applications,
is set to report its fourth quarter and full-year 2013 earnings
on Feb 18, 2014. The company has manufacturing operations in the
United States and Germany.
Neenah Paper witnessed strong revenue and earnings growth in the
third quarter of 2013, recording a whopping 24% increase in
earnings from continuing operations on a per share basis, when
compared with the prior-year period. Revenues increased on the
back of consistently strong growth in the company's Technical
Products and Fine Paper segments despites headwinds such as
rising material costs.
Owing to operational synergies from the acquired Southworth
brands, Neenah Paper experienced success with regard to its go
to-market strategy as well as higher-value price and mix. Despite
higher pulp prices, the company's manufacturing efficiencies and
improved productivity have ensured sustainable margin expansion.
While focusing on its core areas of expertise, Neenah Paper is
also striving to diversify its product portfolio in order to
drive further growth.
Neenah Paper's overseas business is one of its key growth
drivers. Notably, international sales grew over 20% in the last
reported quarter and the momentum is expected to continue in the
coming quarters as well, aided by the company's footprint
Neenah Paper increased its dividend on three occasions in 2013.
The latest hike in the payout marked a 20% increase in the
company's regular annual dividend. Regular disbursement of
dividends forms part of Neenah Paper's long-term strategy of
providing attractive risk-adjusted returns to stockholders.
Neenah Paper looks well positioned to capitalize on opportunities
in growing markets through both organic and inorganic growth.
With a strong balance sheet, healthy cash flow and effective
management, the company appears poised to exploit value-added
opportunities to bolster its prospects.
Other Stocks to Consider
Neenah Paper belongs to the Paper and Related Products space, an
industry which currently ranks among the top 15%, holding a Zacks
Industry Rank of 41 out of more than 250 industries. This
suggests that the industry is positioned to outperform most of
Neenah Paper presently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Other players
in the industry worth mentioning include
Resolute Forest Products Inc.
Stora Enso Oyj
PH Glatfelter Co.
). All these stocks sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).