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Hillenbrand shares hold up after company split

April 1, 2008
Shares of Hill-Rom Holdings Inc. and Hillenbrand Industries Inc., the companies resulting from the split of Batesville-based Hillenbrand Industries Inc., showed little movement this morning in their first day of trading independently.

Hill-Rom shares slipped 24 cents, to $25.46. Hillenbrand Industries fell 32 cents, to $21.78.

City Securities stock trader Tim Sutton said officials of the companies should be encouraged that their stocks didn't fall further. Investors commonly dump stocks following splits because they're unsure of how the independent companies will fare.

Some investors are probably selling their shares today, he said. But the small declines show others are stepping in to replace them.

"There's some buying supporting it," Sutton said.

The former Hillenbrand Industries had operated its Hill-Rom Inc. hospital equipment company and its Batesville Casket Co. under the same umbrella.

However, shareholders had long urged the company to split so each could focus on their core strengths.

Both of the newly formed companies are headquartered in Batesville, which is between Indianapolis and Cincinnati.

Hill-Rom Holdings' ticker is HRC. Hillenbrand Industries' ticker is HI.

Sutton said he is optimistic both companies, particularly Hill-Rom, will sharpen their focus and reward investors over the long term.

"Spinoffs like this are done to unlock shareholder value," he said. "Hillenbrand hit the nail on the head with this one."
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