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High-Tech Parker Hannifin?

Tuesday, 29 Apr 2008 | 7:20 PM ET
Bullish on Manufacturing
Manufacturing stocks demonstrate real growth potential, with Mad Money host Jim Cramer.

Technological innovation is so often associated with the latest high-resolution camera or cutting-edge videogame graphics. Companies like Apple and Hewlett-Packard get all the glory, while stodgy industrials can leave an investor’s throat dry. Well, as Cramer’s pointing out this week, the real science is happening in these once-boring manufacturing plays. They’re making products the world needs.

Case in point: Parker Hannifin. This Cleveland, Ohio, name is working on a hydraulic system for garbage and delivery trucks that that takes the energy used in braking and redirects it to propel the vehicle without using the engine. The system is expected to cut a truck’s energy consumption by 50%. How’s that for high tech?

“This is not your grandfather’s Parker Hannifin,” CEO Donald Washkewicz told Cramer Tuesday. “We’re just at the early stages of this development. I think you’re going to see a lot more exciting things happen as we go forward down the road.”

Don’t think PH is a speculative play on the success of some future product, though. This maker of industrial automation, pumps and regulators, filtration systems and the like is thriving right now; thanks, no doubt, because 55% of sales come from overseas, and that revenue’s growing at 32%. So while many of Parker Hannifin’s competitors suffer this American economy, PH does not.

Washkewicz, who also serves as chairman and president, said this move to foreign markets was part of the company’s “win strategy,” put in motion seven years ago. The success PH is seeing now “was all part of the plan.”

“You have to be global in this day and age,” Washkewicz said. “You just can’t live in one region alone.”

Cramer’s call: “The Street’s just not bullish enough on this one.” This stock’s too cheap, he said. “Buy some Parker Hannifin.”

Questions for Cramer? madmoney@cnbc.com

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