I believe Porter Cable is beginning to import from the Pacific Rim as Delta has been doing for some years. Not sure, but it wouldn't surprise me. They are doing business with Home Depot aren't they? Isn't that where their main growth has been?
Delta went down this road when they got into the Homecenter market - most noteably Home Depot. The tools from Taiwan weren't too bad, but when they went to China - quality suffered.
Unfornatly for tool lovers, the home centers are taking over the market and the important thing to them is the price point - not the quality. Look at HDs profits and you will see this strategy has been successful for them.
Meeting the home centers price demands forces down the quality of the product. If your new drill broke, simply take it back to the HD and they will cheerfully refund your money or give you a new one. HD will then return it to the manufacturer at the manufacturers expence for credit. HD keeps the profit on the sale. Cool huh?
PC makes many good tools as does Dewalt, but expect quality to suffer if they are to remain in the Home Center Market.
No, I am not a broker - just a former Pentair employee keeping an eye on my stock. As large as Pentair has gotten over the past 5 years, their assets (personnel and financial) remain limited, of course. These assets need to be focused on legitimate rates of return. I believe low margin segments do not interest Pentair - as well they shouldn't. The exceptions are where Pentair can improve margins by streamlining or combining operations. In my opinion, the pool business is not such an opportunity. Therefore I made my earlier comments on a potential spin off of this segment. I do not have (nor would I post if I did) numbers regarding the GP margins of the pool segment. However, I do believe these margins to be significantly below Pentair standards. The obvious answer is to divest the pool segment (provided a suitable buyer can be found) and re-invest whatever proceeds result in a higher GP margin segment that has additional potential. Pentair has done this before and I would not be surprised to see it again.
In my local Home Depot, Ridgid tools now occupy the prominent front isle location outside the tool corral where I thought I saw Porter-Cable a few months ago.
Ridgid is made (if I remember correctly from Forbes' recent cover story on HD) by Emerson at Home Depot's request in factories that had made Craftsman tools before their manufacturing was moved out of the US.
Not a good sign for Porter-Cable volume at Home Depot if my sample of one store is representative and HD continues to grow the Ridgid line. I'll check to see how much overlap there is between the two product lines and watch how long Ridgid keeps it premimum location.
If you look again you'll see that Rigid competes DIRECTLY with Delta not P-C although they will likely introduce portable electric tools eventually. Still not good for PNR as Delta is, obviously, at risk, and, in fact, has been hurt because of Rigid.
BTW Rigid, Emerson Electric, and HD are all partners in the venture for the Rigid tools sold exclusively in Depot. This exclusivity does not carry over to the traditional threading machines, etc. that Rigid continues to market in other channels.
As an ex-Pentair employee who still holds stock, I have watched this board for some time with casual interest. The amount of misinformation and half-researched ideas are often amusing. Had this board ever generated any real volume, I might have been worried. The introduction of the Ridgid line to Home Depot was no surprise to PC or Delta and steps were taken to insulate the Delta line against the move. Presently the Ridgid line is all stationary equipment and therefore has had no effect on PCs portable line of tools. No shelf space was taken from PC for the Ridgid line. The real loser in the move was B&D/DeWalt. B&D had just taken several years and spent millions on developing a stationary tool line designed to go into Home Depot stores. The Ridgid line eliminated 30 - 40% of B&Ds anticipated market. Not that there are not threats. Every portable tool manufacturer with product on the shelf at Home Depot is taking moves designed to insulate themselves against the expansion of the Ridgid line into portable tools. Home Depot has not yet taken this step. The recent talk of the horrors of off-shore product sourcing is also unfounded. The domestic manufacturing facilities of Delta and PC are going full blast with no plans to switch production overseas. The products sourced from Asia have been additions to the product lines. For example, PC in now the #1 supplier of pnuematic nailers in the US. This is a market PC was not even in 4 years ago and represents millions in incremental volume. The quality is not an issue. PC does not just purchase tools from offshore for private label. They design the tools in-house and then dictate the production process. The offshore partner is held to very high standards with PC employees present at the offshore facility at all times for monitoring. Delta began sourcing small, benchtop machines from offshore years ago to remain competitive in this market. Consider this, if Delta had invested millions in additional domestic production capacity to enter this market, what would the Ridgid move have meant to Delta? Expensive excess capacity and tremendous unrecouped fixed costs. Since Delta sources this product, what did the Ridgid move mean? Expected lower volume with a subsequent reduction in the variable cost of goods sold. Don't condemn moves for which you lack a complete understanding. Keep up the quick, incomplete observations and half-informed judgements. If you do, I'm sure your portfolio will reflect your knowledge.