Although the brutal winter weighed on the U.S. economic recovery, the stock market kept right on soaring in the first half of the year.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average, the S&P 500 and the shares of 330 companies on the New York Stock Exchange all rose to record highs in mid-June.
The BizTimes Stock Index, which tracks stocks of publicly traded companies based in southeastern Wisconsin, posted more mixed results in the first half of the year. In fact, the stocks of half of the 38 local companies gained ground in the first six months, while the others lost ground.
Nine local stocks have posted double- or triple-digit percentage growth so far this year: ZBB Energy Corp. (up 109 percent); Strattec Security Corp. (up 62.7 percent); Marcus Corp. (up 31 percent); Twin Disc Inc. (up 29.5 percent); Modine Manufacturing Co. (up 22.2 percent); Waterstone Financial Inc. (up 14.6 percent); Wisconsin Energy Corp. (up 13.4 percent); Physicians Realty Trust (up 13.2 percent); and Sensient Technologies Corp. (up 11.6 percent).
The top performer, ZBB Energy, continues to be a penny stock, but its shares more than doubled as Wall Street showed considerable affection for the energy cell industry in the first half of the year. The Menomonee Falls-based company has had some turnover in its C-suite recently:
- Bradley Hansen was named president and chief operating officer in May.
- Chief technology officer Jeff Reichard resigned in June.
- Dilek Wagner is the new vice president of finance.
On March 19, ZBB completed a secondary offering of common stock, issuing 6.3 million shares of common stock at a price of $2.25 per share for net proceeds of $13.1 million.
For the fiscal third quarter, ZBB reported break-even earnings, compared to a loss of 18 cents per share in the year-ago quarter. The company’s revenues grew to $4.57 million in the third quarter, up from $2.12 million in the same quarter last year.
Other local manufacturers in the double-digit growth chart are Strattec, Twin Disc, Modine and Sensient.
Strattec is benefiting from the rebound of the U.S. automotive sector. The company’s sales to Chrysler Group LLC, General Motors Co. and Ford Motor Co. all increased as the Big Three ramped up production of vehicles in the most recent quarter.
Meanwhile, Modine is manufacturing components for the new Tesla electric cars.
|BizTimes Stock Index – YTD 2014 Performance|
|Stock Name||Symbol||Price 12/31/2013||Price 6/20/2014||% Change|
|ZBB Energy Corp.||ZBB||0.89||1.86||109.0%|
|Strattec Security Corp.||STRT||44.67||72.66||62.7%|
|Twin Disc, Inc.||TWIN||25.89||33.52||29.5%|
|Modine Manufacturing Co.||MOD||12.82||15.66||22.2%|
|Waterstone Financial Inc.||WSBF||10.12||11.59||14.6%|
|Wisconsin Energy Corp.||WEC||41.34||46.89||13.4%|
|Physicians Realty Trust||DOC||12.74||14.42||13.2%|
|Sensient Technologies Corp.||SXT||48.52||54.13||11.6%|
|MGIC Investment Corp.||MTG||8.44||9.21||9.1%|
|Joy Global Inc.||JOY||58.49||63.31||8.2%|
|Rockwell Automation Inc.||ROK||118.16||127.24||7.7%|
|Westbury Bancorp Inc.||WBB||13.95||14.94||7.1%|
|Roadrunner Transportation Systems Inc.||RRTS||26.95||28.55||5.9%|
|Douglas Dynamics Inc.||PLOW||16.82||17.62||4.8%|
|Merge Technologies, Inc.||MRGE||2.32||2.30||-0.9%|
|Johnson Controls, Inc.||JCI||51.30||50.61||-1.3%|
|Badger Meter, Inc.||BMI||54.50||53.21||-2.4%|
|Johnson Outdoors, Inc.||JOUT||26.95||26.00||-3.5%|
|Weyco Group Inc.||WEYS||29.43||27.58||-6.3%|
|Briggs & Stratton Corp.||BGG||21.76||20.37||-6.4%|
|A.O. Smith Corp.||AOS||53.94||49.57||-8.1%|
|Artisan Partners Asset Management Inc.||APAM||65.19||56.56||-13.2%|
|Journal Communications Inc.||JRN||9.31||8.06||-13.4%|
|Bank Mutual Corp.||BKMU||7.01||5.94||-15.3%|
|Generac Holdings Inc.||GNRC||56.64||46.95||-17.1%|
|All data taken on 6/23/14 from Factset Research Systems and compiled by Robert W. Baird & Co. Inc.|