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Associated Press, Published September 20 2009

Analysts say Bobcat hurt by global economy, debt

BISMARCK (AP) - An analyst says the parent company of Bobcat Co., has been hurt by a global economic slump and by debt it took on when it purchased Bobcat two years ago.

Bobcat has announced plans to close its Bismarck plant by the end of the year and move its operations to Gwinner, in southeastern North Dakota.

Chuck Yengst is a construction manufacturing industry analyst and president of Yengst and Associates, based in Connecticut. He says Bobcat's parent company, South Korea-based Doosan Infracore Co., found itself struggling with debt when the economy went sour.

Yengst says analysts figure Bobcat was producing about 37,000 skid-steer loaders a year from its Gwinner plant at its peak in 2005. He says that figure dropped to about 22,000 last year. He says sales also dropped and the company is expected to sell just 8,000 units this year.

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