Global Power Equipment may gain over 20 pct within year: Barron's

Global Power Equipment Group Inc shares could provide investors with a total return exceeding 20 percent within a year, as the turbine equipment company gets a boost from operating improvements and a large order backlog, Barron's said in its February 25 edition.

The Irving, Texas-based company, which emerged from bankruptcy with a clean balance sheet in 2008, has been hurt in recent months as utility customers scaled back spending amid uncertainty about the 2012 U.S. presidential election and fiscal cliff, Barron's said.

According to the newspaper, Global Power produces exhaust systems and filter houses for natural gas turbines made by companies such as General Electric Co and Siemens AG , and provides maintenance and manages services at large nuclear power plants in the southeastern United States.

Global Power shares closed Friday at $16.72 on the Nasdaq, more than 42 percent below their 52-week high of $28.98 set last March 16.

But Barron's said the company's backlog has grown 34 percent from a year earlier to $454 million.

It also said the company could see profit margins rebound from a weak third quarter, when its Braden gas turbine division was hurt by a less profitable product mix, higher expenses, and expansion costs for a manufacturing facility.

Barron's said the company's shares could rise to $20 within a year, and that shareholders could also benefit from Global Power's dividend yield, now 2.2 percent.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Bernard Orr)