Manitex International (MNTX) makes lifting and loading machinery (think small cranes, forklifts, bulldozers, etc.) and sells them throughout the world through a number of well known brands. All work is done in house. The company was found in Bridgeview, Illinois, in 1993 and is a great American story of engineering and industrial know-how.
There are a number of reasons why the company's shares are a strong buy right now in the smallcap industrial space.
Investors have to be happy with the performance of shares since hitting lows early last year. The shares are up 17% year to date -- including a new 18-month high set just last month -- and a whopping 74% over the past 12 months.
It is also encouraging that earnings estimates from the company itself and from analysts have moved higher in the past 4 weeks. While analysts sentiment is strong, ratings for the stock have moved in the bullish direction in recent weeks with a big upgrade coming from Zacks Research to "strong buy" based on raised guidance and revenues expectations. The company is expected to grow EPS by 186% next year.
Recently the company sold off its Italy division which gave the company a nice infusion of cash and lowered its overall debt structure. Institutional ownership of shares has increased this past quarter, too.
As the chart below shows, the company peaked in 2014, then experienced a long period of contraction before troughing last year. Right now looks like a great time to get in early before the next big expansion in the company's business cycle kicks in.