Hot Growth Special Report 2006 >



AMCOL International (ACO)

Fine-print readers might know Amcol International for its kitty litter and chew treats for dogs. But it's the company's bedrock business of mining and making clays -- the same minerals that go into cat litter -- for industrial customers that's put Amcol on the Hot Growth track. Founded in 1924 and previously known as American Colloid, Amcol has been logging double-digit increases in sales and earnings since 2002 thanks to booming demand by foundries and other metal casters in the U.S. and Europe. Also on the rise: sales to oil-field and industrial clients that use Amcol's bentonite clays to treat waste water. Though Amcol boasted record results in 2005, it does have issues. Rising energy and transportation costs cut a point from its gross margin between 2003 and 2005, and these costs have been even higher in 2006. Still, industry analysts predict that Amcol will set records again in 2006 and 2007.

Company Info

2005 Rank


Market Value*
($ Millions)


($ Millions)


Sales Growth
(3-yr. avg. annual)

21.9 %

($ Millions)


Profit Growth
(3-yr. avg. annual)

42.6 %

Return on Inv. Capital (3-yr.)

11.8 %

Share Price
12-Mo. Hi/Lo


Share Price
As of 4/28/06


Return on Equity

15.1 %

P/E Ratio


No. of Employees


Industry Diversified Metals & Mining


Location Arlington Heights, Ill.
Phone 847 394-8730
*Trailing 12 months
Stock price data as of 4/28/06
DATA: Standard & Poor's Compustat

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Company Snapshot

AMCOL International Corp. operates as a specialty minerals company. It operates in three segments: Minerals, Environmental, and Transportation. The Minerals segment provides bentonite products, including custom-blended bentonite and allied nonbentonite products to strengthen sand molds to cast auto parts, farm implements, railcars, home appliances, and metallurgical products; a line of formulated additives to introduce silicon and carbon in the melt phase of the casting process; and sodium bentonite-based scoopable, traditional, and alternative cat litters, as well as specialty pet products to grocery and drug stores, mass merchandisers, wholesale clubs, and pet specialty stores. This segment also supplies high-grade agglomerated bentonite to the detergent industry; adsorbent polymers and purified grades of bentonite ingredients for sale to manufacturers of personal care products; sodium bentonite and leonardite used in oil and gas well drilling; and bentonite and bentonite blends for the construction industry. The Environmental segment offers geosynthetic clay liner products for lining and capping landfills, and for containment in tank farms, storm water containment systems, waste stabilization lagoons, sewage lagoons, and mine site and wetlands reclamation applications; waterproofing systems for the nonresidential construction industry; and bentonite to extract contaminants within effluents generated by various processes. The Transportation segment offers long-haul trucking and freight brokerage services for the delivery of finished products in the continental U.S. AMCOL serves foundry and casting industry throughout the North America and Asia Pacific regions. The company was incorporated in 1924 as Bentonite Mining & Manufacturing Company. It changed its name to American Colloid Company in 1927 and to AMCOL International Corp. in 1995. AMCOL International has its headquarters in Arlington Heights, Ill.

Data provided by Capital IQ
Lawrence E. Washow

Lawrence E. Washow, 51

President and Chief Executive Officer

Total Compensation*

$ 1,296,399

Total Options Value*

$ 3,432,006

* Fiscal Year 2005

Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill - MBA

Executive Bio

Lawrence Washow has been a director of Amcol International since 1998 and also president and CEO since May, 2000, and chief operating officer since August, 1997. Washow is a member of the executive committee of Amcol. He previously served as senior vice-president of Amcol and president of Chemdal International (sold to BASF in June ,2000).

Management Team

Key Executives

Lawrence E. Washow; Clarence O. Redman; Gary L. Castagna; Ryan F. McKendrick; Gary D. Morrison

Board Directors

Paul C. Weaver; Arthur Brown; Robert E. Driscoll; Jay D. Proops; Dale E. Stahl; Audrey L. Weaver; John Hughes; Clarence O. Redman; Daniel P. Casey; Lawrence E. Washow

Executive Data provided by Capital IQ