Updated from 11:46 a.m. EDT
A day after its stock rose an abrupt 14%,
United Dominion Industries
, a maker of industrial and building products, said Tuesday that it is in talks to sell the company, but warned that a deal is not imminent.
Nancy Spurlock, a spokeswoman for Charlotte, N.C.-based United Dominion, explained that the movement in the stock Monday prompted the company to issue a press release announcing the negotiations. She would not elaborate on the two-paragraph statement.
Following the news Tuesday, United Dominion's stock took off once again, rising $5.25, or 29%, to close at $23.50, just shy of a one-year high.
Shares peaked at $23.94 about a year ago, but rested close to a 52-week low at the start of the week, making the company a cheap and attractive acquisition prospect.
"The company has been very frustrated with the level of its stock price," noted Eli S. Lustgarten, who follows United Dominion for
H.C. Wainwright & Co.
in New York.
The company's stock lately has been trading at about four times its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, or EBITDA, giving United Dominion "a valuation that commands no respect," Lustgarten added.
Shareholders like Canadian investment firm
, disappointed that the stock price has not mirrored the company's progress, have pushed for a sale or some sort of deal that would split up United Dominion's four business divisions, said Bill Procter, senior vice president of Mackenzie.
United Dominion stockholders certainly were rewarded this week.
Mackenzie's stake, worth about $49.4 million at the beginning of the week, is now valued at roughly $72.9 million, based on Tuesday's closing price. Mackenzie is the company's third-biggest shareholder with about 3.1 million shares, according to a recent report filed with the
Securities and Exchange Commission
Amid signs of earnings improvement, Procter said the company has suffered from a lack of recognition. "It's more symptomatic of the problem that industrial products have had in the marketplace," he said in a telephone interview. "The company hasn't had any respect for some time."
For the quarter ending June 30, the company posted revenue of $627 million, a 14% increase, and barring one-time expenses, it said earnings climbed 12% to $30.8 million, or 79 cents a share, compared with $27.5 million, or 69 cents a share, a year ago. Including special costs, however, net income dropped 46% to $14.3 million, or 36 cents a share, compared with $26.7 million, or 67 cents a share, a year earlier.
Despite a dramatic two-day rise in United Dominion's stock price, H.C. Wainwright's Lustgarten said he believed United Dominion remained an inexpensive takeover target. Lustgarten added that it would be premature to speculate about potential suitors.
Probably like other big shareholders, Procter said he hopes for a deal, but noted that it could be difficult to blend United Dominion's four diverse units -- which produce everything from valves to pumps to agricultural products -- with another company.
Meanwhile, United Dominion said in a statement that
is advising the company about possible deals, but cautioned that it is not making any guarantees. The company added that it intends to remain silent on the subject until it strikes a deal.
"There can be no certainty that an agreement will be reached or that any sale will be consummated," the company said in a statement.