Presto to hire workers for adult-diaper facility By DORIS HAJEWSKI firstname.lastname@example.org Posted: Oct. 19, 2004 Eau Claire - National Presto Industries Inc. will hire 100 workers for an adult-diapers production facility in Eau Claire, Chairwoman and Chief Executive Maryjo Cohen said Tuesday.
Presto plans to spend $26.4 million for equipment to make the products, Cohen told about two dozen shareholders at the company's annual meeting. The machinery will arrive later this year and early in 2005, Cohen said.
Presto bought Marietta, Ga.-based NCN Hygienic Products Inc., a maker of adult-incontinence products, last year. The Eau Claire-based company has been making baby diapers since 2001 after it acquired a small business operating in rented space at Presto headquarters.
Seeing an opportunity among an aging population, Presto will make diapers in its Wisconsin plant to be sold directly to consumers. The company already makes products at a Georgia plant that are sold to nursing homes and other institutions, Cohen said.
"I spent a couple of days wearing them," Cohen said of the new diapers, which she said will be higher quality. "They're very comfortable."
The diaper division represents a small portion of the company's $133.8 million in 2003 sales, Cohen said. Presto had profit of $15.5 million, or $2.27 a share. The company had net income of $8.7 million in 2002.
Cohen said the company continues to defend against a lawsuit filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission in 2002. The SEC contends that Presto holds such a large amount of cash that it should be considered an investment company subject to federal reporting regulations for such firms.
The company has been reducing its cash by making acquisitions. As of July 4, Presto listed cash of $109.8 million, or almost half the company's $237.5 million in assets, according to a regulatory filing. The case is pending in Federal District Court in Chicago.
From the Oct. 20, 2004, editions of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Get the Journal Sentinel delivered to your home. Subscribe now.
Thanks for posting the article. In over eight years of owning NPK stock, this is easily the most significant move the company has made - especially as far as committing capital. NPK was the second stock I ever bought, and though I later regretted buying it, I decided to hold on to see if anything interesting would happen.
I'll be looking forward to reports on the new venture's progress.