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Raven Industries (RAVN)



Raven Industries (RAVN) is headquartered in Sioux Falls, South Dakota and manufactures various products for industrial, agricultural, defense/aerospace, and construction markets domestically and internationally.

The company manufactures and sells a range of products primarily through its four divisions:

  1. Applied Technology – Precision/GPS agricultural technology products
  2. Engineered Films – Industrial plastics
  3. Electronic Systems – Electronics manufacturing services and products
  4. Aerostar International, Inc. (Aerostar) – High altitude tethered research devices for military and commercial use and also parachutes, uniforms and other protective wear for military purposes

Raven management has a long track record of quality, slow growth and of keeping shareholders’ interests at the forefront.  The company is still relatively small (especially compared to other large cap names in the dividend portfolio) with a market cap under $1 billion.

Between a regularly increasing dividend coupled with hefty special dividends, shareholders of RAVN have been the beneficiary of excellent returns back to shareholders.  The management has wisely bought back shares of the stock at severely depressed levels, and doesn’t seem to get too carried away with regular buybacks, preferring to return excess cash to shareholders in the form of special dividends (much preferred to buybacks).

Management is not overpaid and the company has built a proud culture which takes care of their employees.

The diverse product mix with agriculture precision products probably being one of the best areas for growth plus an absolute top notch management approach with shareholder interests in mind, this is an excellent company to invest in for long-term returns.

The current share price (as of May 2011) of over $50 / share might be unsustainable, and I’m looking to get into this company preferably under $40 / share.  Anything under $30 / share and I’m backing up the truck.  Assuming I can kickstart a position in this stock at a more attractive entry point, I may also consider initiating regular DRIP investing with this stock.

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