Since March 11th, the Nasdaq Composite index has rallied 12%. Whether the move signals a new bull market or just a war bounce is anyone's guess. But the fact remains that the index is 72% cheaper than it was at the turn of the century. Although it could drop further, now seems as good a time as any for patient and careful investors to shop this market.
Here's one idea: Cuno. The Meriden, Conn.-based company makes filtration technology for gases and liquids. Nearly half of the company's sales come from products used for purifying drinking water for residential and commercial customers.
Over the past three years, Cuno's revenue has increased by a modest 5% per year. But the company's results should benefit from the growing demand for clean water in both developed and emerging economies. In the latter area, the statistics are particularly sobering. By the World Bank's tally, 1.1 billion people lack access to safe water. As a result, 3.5 million children die each year from waterborne diseases.
Cuno seems well poised to tap into efforts to fix these and other water-related problems. Business outside the U.S accounts for 42% of the company's revenue. In all, Cuno had $258 million in sales for its most recently reported fiscal year, ended October 2002. Analysts reporting to Thomson First Call expect that number to climb to $281 million this October and $295 million in 2004.
Full story at Forbes.com