Thursday, January 29, 2015

Seeking Alpha: Dover Dealing With A Very Different Reality

Six months ago, things were looking pretty good for Dover (NYSE:DOV). The company was looking to leverage its supply chain for further margin expansion, while expecting growth from the retail adoption of "close the case" refrigeration equipment, further expansion of the downstream chemical and plastic capacity, and strong drilling growth across North American basins.

I thought Dover was a little too expensive then, but I had no idea what was in store for the company. Six months ago, oil was above $100, and the nosedive below $50 has radically altered the drilling plans of energy companies, leading to a major revision in Dover's growth expectations and the prospect of at least a couple of "lost years" in the growth/self-improvement story.

I don't believe Dover has suddenly become a bad company, but the company's heavy weighting toward energy for a significant percentage of its earnings leaves it vulnerable to feast-or-famine swings, and I don't think the other businesses are strong enough to compensate. Although I think it is possible to make a value call here, it's hard to imagine investors warming up to Dover so long as rig counts and capital budgets are still heading down.

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Dover Dealing With A Very Different Reality

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