North Dakota might be the center of the shale-oil energy boom, but let’s not forget the importance of agriculture in the American Heartland. That’s where Titan Machinery (NASDAQ:TITN) comes in. If you can grow it, till it, mine it or build it, Titan sells the heavy equipment you need to get the job done.
The company offers farming and construction equipment — everything from combines and tractors to excavators and forklifts — through a network of 96 dealerships in nine states across the Midwest and mountain states. (Titan has another nine dealerships located in Europe.)
Headquartered in West Fargo, the company employs more than 2,000 people and, happily for all involved, business has been good. Revenue has doubled during the past two fiscal years and net income has nearly tripled.
That’s helped drive some strong outperformance in the stock. Shares more than tripled out of the bear-market bottom of 2009 through the first half of 2012, while the S&P 500 gained 80% over the same period.
True, a market cap of less than $1 billion means that Titan actually is pretty tiny when stacked up against some monster competitors, like Deere & Co. (NYSE:DE) on the agriculture side and Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) on the construction end. But Titan’s reputation for quality service and competitive pricing have stood it in good stead. With prices for corn and other agricultural commodities picking up, demand should get further boost, lifting shares as well.
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As of this writing, Dan Burrows did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.