July 10, 2008

Modine raises parts prices 15% ... you're not immune

Modine Manufacturing Company announced today that it is raising prices for all parts by at least 15 percent.

That's the second recent major price increase from a major Racine manufacturer; last week, Case New Holland announced a 5 percent price increase for all its agricultural tractors.

"These actions reflect the reality of the current business environment," said James R. Rulseh, Modine Regional Vice President - Americas. "They represent one of the ongoing steps necessary to ensure the viability of both our current production and legacy businesses."

Modine's stock dropped 68 cents -- almost 4.5% -- after the price hike announcement, but by the end of the day's trading had recovered more than half that loss, and was down only 29 cents, 2.2%. It finished the day at $12.92 per share, compared to its 52-wk. high and low of $29.95 and $11.62 respectively.

Just because you don't buy Case or Modine equipment, don't think you are immune from these price hikes. I was in Home Depot today, and struck up a conversation with a local handyman/ contractor who was buying 2x4's for a client's basement remodeling project.

"Last year, the woman would have paid $1,000 for the materials," he said. "This year, it's close to $3,000." He pointed to the stack of 2 x 4's as he pushed the handcart out to his truck. "Last year, these were $1.04 apiece. Today, I paid $2.39 each -- and they're not even top grade."

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