PNR a 'top multiyear' story

J.P. Morgan analysts recently hosted Pentair CEO Randy Hogan for dinner as part of the firm's aviation, transportation and industrials conference last week in New York. Analyst C. Stephen Tusa Jr. had an "overweight" rating on PNR shares and maintained that buy rating after Hogan's talk. Tusa sees growth potential as the company integrates the Tyco Flow control business it acquired in 2012. "We view Pentair as one of the top multiyear stories in our group … after two decades of average financial performance," Tusa wrote.

Sale on RagÚ

Unilever is shopping its Ragú pasta sauce brand in the United States as the London and Netherlands-based multinational pares its brand portfolio. Ragú has approximately $500 million in annual sales. J.P. Morgan analyst Ken Goldman identified companies large enough to make an acquisition including Smucker, Kraft, Campbell Soup and Minnesota companies General Mills and Hormel Foods. "General Mills is big enough to do a deal for Ragú without too much balance sheet pain,'' he wrote. He also noted that Hormel "recently expanded into non-meat packaged food.'' Hormel acquired the Skippy peanut butter brand from Unilever in January 2013.

Patrick Kennedy