Watts Water Technologies Inc. named Robert J. Pagano Jr., ITT Corp.’s industrial process business president, as its chief executive officer, ending a four-month search.
ITT announced that Pagano, 51, resigned effective May 26 to take over the top post at Watts Water. Dean Freeman, who served as interim chief after David Coghlan resigned in January, will resume his duties as chief financial officer.
ITT’s IP business makes industrial pumps, valves and control systems. The business under Pagano’s leadership tapped the energy market to increase revenue to $1.1 billion last year from $719 million in 2009, North Andover, Massachusetts-based Watts Water said in a statement yesterday.
Pagano “brings a wealth of industry experience from his tenure at ITT,” Kevin Bennett, an analyst with Sterne, Agee & Leach Inc., wrote in a note to investors today. “The hiring should be a positive for the stock, as it removes a significant piece of uncertainty.” Bennett rates the stock a buy with a 12-month price target of $68.
Watts Water gained 2.2 percent to $54.25 today at the close of trading in New York, the most since April 2. The shares have declined 12 percent this year compared to a 4.8 percent gain by the 19-member Bloomberg World Water Index.