Franklin Filter Producer's Stock Leaps More Than Ten Percent

Unexpectedly strong results make industrial conglomerate a market darling

Shares of Franklin-based Clarcor Inc. surged 10.72 percent today on the New York Stock Exchange after the filtration-products company posted handsome results for the fourth quarter and full year 2005.

"Fourth quarter sales and earnings were significantly stronger than we originally expected," Chairman and CEO Norm Johnson said in a statement. Earnings per share for the quarter rose 14 percent over the prior year. For the year, EPS grew by 18 percent. sales were up 11 percent, operating profit 21 percent and net earnings 19 percent.

The market rewarded Clarcor with a $3.22 gain on the day, on trading volume more than six times the average for the stock. It closed at a 52-week high of $33.26.

Stock-watching service The Motley Fool called the company "a worthy addition to any investor's watch list."

Clarcor, which has worldwide operations, relocated its headquarters from Rockford, Ill. to Franklin in 2004. It makes filters for engines (such as oil filters) and for industrial and environmental usage. It also has a consumer packaging division.