08/22/2012 03:50 pm ET Updated Oct 22, 2012

Tootsie's Secret Empire

How many licks does it take to get to the center of Tootsie Roll Industries TR -0.28% Inc.?

No one really knows. The 116-year-old company, run by one of America's oldest CEOs, has become increasingly secretive over the years, severing nearly all of its connections to the outside world. Tootsie Roll shuns journalists, refuses to hold quarterly earnings calls, and issues crookedly-scanned PDFs for its earnings releases. The last securities industry analyst to maintain coverage of the company stopped last year because it was too hard to get information.

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