General Electric is an industrial powerhouse being redesigned to “build, power, move, and cure the world with software-defined machines & solutions that are connected, responsive & predictive.” The company has a long and illustrious history of achievement and high returns for investors.
A company does not thrive over 100 years without significant competitive advantages. GE has a wide economic moat because of its research & development, patents, established customer relationships, ability to do large and complex projects (because of its size and expertise), and strong brand.
Boeing (BA) is the largest aerospace company in the world, exhibited by over 10,000 commercial jetliners (approx. 70% of revenue) currently in service and being a major player in the defense, space, and security industry (approx. 30% of revenue). The company is the single largest exporter from the United States.
The Clorox Company is a premier manufacturer and marketer of consumer and professional products of which 80% hold the top 1 or 2 market share positions. Operating in more than 100 countries with over 8,000 employees, the company’s latest annual revenues exceed 5.7 billion.
The Clorox dividend has been paid continuously since 1968 and increased for 39 consecutive years; qualifying the company as a Dividend Aristocrat and Dividend Champion.
PPG Industries is one of the oldest and largest global producers of coatings and glass. The PPG dividend has been paid continuously since 1899 and increased for 45 consecutive years; qualifying the company as a Dividend Aristocrat and Dividend Champion.
W.W. Grainger (GWW) is a business to business distributor of maintenance, repair, and operating (MRO) products and services. Over 5000 suppliers provide more than 1.6 million products such as motors, ladders, safety products, janitorial supplies, test instruments, power tools, etc.; plus services such as inventory management and technical expertise.
Target is the second largest discount retailer in the United States (Wal-Mart is #1). The company has 1800 locations and 69 billion in revenues. It is in business to offer everyday essentials and one-stop shopping at discount prices. Approximately two-thirds of Target’s products are national brands and one-third private label.
McDonald’s is the largest food service retailer in the world with over 36,000 locations in 120 countries. The value-priced menu centers around their hamburgers and cheeseburgers. Iconic menu items include the Big Mac, Quarter Pounder, Filet-O-Fish, Chicken McNuggets, World Famous Fries, and more recently McCafe beverages and McFlurry desserts.
The fast casual category is very mature and growing chains such as Five Guys, In-N-Out Burger, and Shake Shack put pressure on McDonald’ s to keep prices low and/or upgrade their product offerings. It’s a tough business. Find out whether MCD is a good investment or not.
The increasing demand for protein rich foods means Hormel Foods is on the right side of a powerful trend. Hormel’s competitive advantages include powerful brands and economies of scale which allows the company to spread costs over a large base. In addition its size gives the company purchasing power when contracting with suppliers.