Sales keep growing—granted by just 13% in the first quarter of 2009 from the first quarter of 2008—and the company keeps on acquiring smaller competitors and then wringing efficiencies out of the combined operation. That’s what strong companies do in recessions: continue strategies that have worked in the past and exploit the weaknesses of any competitor to the company’s core business, which for Middleby is manufacturing cooking equipment for commercial and institutional kitchens. In 2009 the company announced the completion of acquisitions of Anetsberger Brothers, CookTek, and TurboChef Technologies. As of July 1 keeping my target price at $75 a share by June 2010. (Full disclosure: I own shares of Middleby in my personal portfolio.)
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