Paccar Says Little About Simmons’ Stock-Buying
SEATTLE (AP) _ Paccar Inc. officials said little Tuesday about Texas financier Harold C. Simmons’ interest in their company, but stock analysts said they doubted Simmons was looking to take over the truck manufacturing company.
Jack McRae, spokesman for Paccar in suburban Bellevue, said, ″We knew he was purchasing stock,″ but declined to comment further about Simmons’ stock acquisition.
Simmons’ investor group, Valhi Inc., has bought a 5.3 percent interest in Lockheed Corp. He also said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal, published Tuesday, that he has received or sought clearance from the Federal Trade Commission to buy at least $15 million in stock in Paccar and a like amount in Chrysler Corp. and Phelps Dodge Corp.
Simmons said Monday he did not intend to take over Lockheed. He declined to tell the Journal whether he would make an offer for the other companies, but said his purchases ″all start out as investments.″
Paccar stock closed at $48.75 per share Tuesday, up $1.25.
Paccar makes Kenworth, Peterbilt and Foden trucks, and owns truck financing and leasing companies, Grand Auto and Al’s Auto Supply stores, oil pump manufacturer Trico Industries Inc., and Wagner Mining Equipment Co.
In 1988, Paccar earned a record $175.8 million on sales of $3.1 billion. Earnings were up 56 percent over 1987, while sales rose 28 percent.
Paccar ″has a strong cash flow, a high cash position and very little debt, so certainly that would make it more attractive on the surface,″ said analyst Steven Colbert at Prudential Bache Securities in San Francisco.
Colbert noted that the founding Pigott family still holds a strong position in the company, which would make a hostile takeover difficult, and that the company has never expressed any interest in going private.
Les Childress, an analyst with Harper, Mclean & Co. in Seattle, agreed that ″a hostile deal would be extremely difficult to do.″
Childress said Paccar has an anti-takeover plan in place. In addition, Paccar is a well-managed company that has tried to please its shareholders, he said.
Simmons ″likes to invest in very fundamentally attractive companies,″ and his SEC filing concerning Paccar ″seems to indicate this is for investment purposes,″ Childress said.