Apogee Stock Continues Meteoric Climb

Apogee Stock Continues Meteoric Climb

The Bloomington-based glass products maker, which has increased its sales and revenue despite a slow-growth commercial real estate market, has seen its stock price more than double during the past year.

Apogee Enterprises, Inc., on Tuesday continued its stellar stock price run, closing at $22.92—up about 10.5 percent from the previous day.

The company’s stock price has been on a consistent climb; in fact, it’s up an impressive 138 percent from the same period a year ago.

“It’s certainly a standout performance compared to just about anyone,” Tom Sepenzis, an analyst at Minneapolis-based Northland Securities who closely follows Apogee, told Twin Cities Business on Wednesday. “There are others, but Apogee grew in fiscal 2012 and grew in the first two quarters in 2013, and they’re going to be rewarded for that. There aren’t a whole lot of growth names right now.”

Apogee, a Bloomington-based glass products maker, has two business segments: architectural—which designs, engineers, fabricates, installs, and renovates windows for commercial buildings—and optical, which makes glass for the custom picture-framing market.

Tuesday’s stock climb may have been affected by the recent holiday shopping weekend. Retailers reported a strong start to the holiday season, as a record number of U.S. shoppers flocked to stores and websites over Thanksgiving weekend.

As a result, investors may be expecting growth in Apogee’s optical segment, according to Sepenzis. The segment’s customers include mass merchandisers, distributors, museums, and galleries.

While it accounts for only a fraction of the company’s overall revenue—$19.6 million of a total $175.9 million in its most recent quarter—the optical segment has been growing quickly, and it has higher margins that can quickly affect the company’s bottom line, he said.

While Apogee’s performance used to be more directly tied to the overall commercial real estate market, it has grown organically in the past year despite a slow market, and its stock price reflects the fact that it has bucked market trends, Sepenzis added.

Apogee is among Minnesota’s 40 largest public companies based on revenue, which totaled $662.5 million for the fiscal year that ended in March—up about 13 percent from $582.8 million during the previous year. The company’s stock hit an all-time high of about $30 in 2007; its price, along with so many others, dropped sharply amid the recession. It closed at $22.80 on Wednesday.

Apogee’s turnaround has occurred on the watch of Joseph Puishys, a former Honeywell executive who took over as CEO last year.

In September, Apogee reported an increase in second-quarter revenue and earnings and raised its full-year outlook. Net income for the quarter that ended September 1 totaled $5.06 million, or 18 cents per share. That’s a huge improvement over the $1.68 million, or 6-cent-per-share loss that the company reported during last year’s second quarter. Apogee topped analysts’ expectations with respect to both sales and earnings.

Upon announcing its better-than-expected quarterly results, Apogee increased its fiscal-year earnings outlook to between 56 cents and 64 cents per share—up from the previously announced expectation of 48 cents to 58 cents per share.