5 Best Machinery Stocks To Buy Right Now

Conditions for railroad operations in the U.S. do not look as good as on the other side of the Great Lakes. While Canadian National (CNI) and Canadian Pacific (CP) have wrestled with a greater demand and adverse environmental conditions — conditions that have sparked a heated debate at Congress — U.S. railroad operators lack the necessary demand to be noticed by the market.

Another characteristic that separates operators in the U.S. from those in Canada is the geographic presence. Both Canadian operators compete along the same routes, but in the U.S., companies are assigned to regions. Hence, CSX (CSX) only operates railways from north to south, between the Mississippi River and the Atlantic Ocean. Most importantly, the firm operates no railway along the Mississippi River, and routes are intended to connect the delta with the ocean and vice versa. Nonetheless, four gurus have taken new positions in the railway operator during the last quarter of 2013. Are they looking for a long-term investment? Should you?

5 Best Machinery Stocks To Buy Right Now: Austin Engineering Ltd (ANG)

Austin Engineering Limited is engaged in the manufacture, repair, overhaul and supply of mining attachment products, general steelwork structures and other associated products and services for the industrial and resources-related business sectors. The Company operates in four segments: Australia, which includes mining equipment, other products and repair and maintenance services; Americas, which includes mining equipment and other products, consisting of North America and South America; Asia, which includes Indonesia for mining equipment and other products, and the Middle East, which includes aluminum smelter equipment and products. In October 2013, Austin Engineering Limited completed the acquisition of the business of Servigrut. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Julia Leite]

    South African miners rallied after a recovery in gold prices. The FTSE/JSE Africa All-Share Index climbed 1.5 percent in Johannesburg, with Harmony Gold Mining Co. (HAR) and AngloGold Ashanti Ltd. (ANG) adding at least 5.2 percent.

5 Best Machinery Stocks To Buy Right Now: Mueller Water Products Inc (MWA)

Mueller Water Products, Inc., incorporated on September 22, 2005, is a manufacturer and marketer of products and services used in the transmission, distribution and measurement of water. The Company’s product portfolio includes engineered valves, fire hydrants, pipe fittings, water meters, leak detection and pipe condition assessment which are used by municipalities, as well as the residential and non-residential construction industries. The Company operates in two segments: Mueller Co. and Anvil. Mueller Co. The Company’s valve or fire hydrant products are specified for use in the 100 metropolitan areas in the United States.

Mueller Co.

Mueller Co. manufactures valves for water and gas systems, including iron gate, butterfly, tapping, check, plug and ball valves, as well as dry-barrel and wet-barrel fire hydrants and a of pipe repair products, such as clamps and couplings used to repair leaks. The Company offers residential and commercial me tering products and systems and leak detection and pipe condition assessment products and services. Mueller Co. products are sold through waterworks distributors.

The Company’s fire hydrants consist of an upper barrel and nozzle section and a lower barrel and valve section that connects to a water main. In dry-barrel hydrants, the valve connecting the barrel of the hydrant to the water main is located below ground at or below the frost line, which keeps the hydrant upper barrel dry. It sells dry-barrel fire hydrants with the Mueller and U.S. Pipe Valve and Hydrant brand names in the United States and the Mueller and Canada Valve brand names in Canada. The Company also makes wet-barrel hydrants, where the valves are located in the hydrant nozzles and the barrel contains water at all times. It also makes wet-barrel hydrants, where the valves are located in the hydrant nozzles and the barrel contains water at all times.

Mueller Co. manufactures a va riety of intelligent water technology products under the Mue! ller Systems and Hersey Meters brand names that are designed to help water providers accurately measure water usage. These products include water meters, advanced metering infrastructure systems and automated meter reading products, have the capability to measure water usage ranging from small residential flows to large commercial and industrial applications.

Mueller Co. offers leak detection and pipe condition assessment products and services under the Echologics brand name. Other products include pipe repair products, such as clamps and couplings used to repair leaks and municipal castings, such as manhole covers and street drain grates. It sells these products under the Mueller and Jones brand names.

The Company competes with McWane, Inc., American Cast Iron Pipe Company, The Ford Meter Box Company, Inc., A.Y. McDonald Mfg, Sensus, Neptune Technology Group, Inc., Badger Meter, Inc., Aclara LLC and Itron, Inc.

Anvil

Anvi l manufactures and sources a range of products, includes fittings, couplings, hangers, valves and related products for use in many non-residential constructions for HVAC, fire protection, energy and oil and gas applications. Anvil’s products are sold through distributors who then sell the products to a variety of end users. These distributors are serviced primarily through Anvil’s distribution centers.

Fittings and Couplings manufactures threaded and grooved pipe fittings and couplings. Pipe fittings and couplings join two pieces of pipe together. The five categories of pipe fittings and couplings are cast iron fittings, malleable iron fittings and unions, grooved fittings, couplings and valves, threaded steel pipe coupling and nipples. Hangers, manufacture an array of pipe hangers and supports. Standard pipe hangers and supports are used in fire protection sprinkler systems and HVAC applications where the objective is to provide rigid support from the building structure.

The Company competes with Ward Man! ufacturin! g L.L.C., malleable iron fittings, Victaulic Company, Tyco International Ltd., ERICO International Corporation, Cooper Industries plc and Carpenter & Paterson, Inc.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Travis Hoium]

    What: Shares of Mueller Water Products (NYSE: MWA  ) jumped as much as 17% today after the company released earnings.

    So what: Fiscal-second-quarter revenue jumped 12.6% to $283.1 million and net income was $6.2 million, or $0.05 per share. Analysts only expected revenue to be $270.8 million and earnings of $0.02 per share so this was well ahead of estimates.  

5 Best Machinery Stocks To Buy Right Now: Actuant Corp (ATU)

Actuant Corporation, incorporated on October 26, 1910, is a global diversified company that designs, manufactures and distributes a range of industrial products and systems to various end markets. The Company operates four business segments: Industrial, Energy, Electrical and Engineered Solutions. The Industrial segment is primarily involved in the design, manufacture and distribution of branded hydraulic and mechanical tools to the maintenance, industrial, infrastructure and production automation markets. The Energy segment provides joint integrity products and services, as well as rope and cable solutions to the global oil and gas, power generation and other energy markets. The Electrical segment is primarily involved in the design, manufacture and distribution of a range of electrical products to the retail DIY, wholesale, original equipment manufacturer (OEM), solar, utility, marine and other harsh environment markets. The Engineered Solutions segment provides engineer ed position and motion control systems to OEMs in various on and off-highway vehicle markets, as well as, a range of other products to the industrial and agricultural markets. In August 2013, the Company announced the completion of its acquisition of Viking SeaTech (Viking).

Industrial

The Industrial segment is a global supplier of branded hydraulic and mechanical tools to a broad array of end markets, including general maintenance and repair, industrial, infrastructure and production automation. The Company’s primary products include hydraulic tools, engineered heavy lifting solutions, workholding (production automation) solutions and concrete stressing products. These hydraulic and mechanical tools are marketed primarily through the Company’s Enerpac, Simplex, Precision Sure-Lock and Milwaukee Cylinder brand names. The high-force hydraulic and mechanical tools, including cylinders, pumps, valves, specialty tools and presses.

The Com pany’s hydraulic tools operate at high pressures of approxim! ately 5,000 to 12,000 pounds per square inch and are generally sold by a diverse group of industrial and specialty fluid power distributors to customers in the infrastructure, mining, steel mill, cement, rail, oil and gas and general maintenance industries. Key industrial distributors include W.W. Grainger, Applied Industrial Technologies and MSC. In addition to providing a line of industrial tools, the segment also provides hydraulic systems (integrated solutions) to meet customer specific requirements for safe and precise control of movement and positioning. These customized heavy lifting solutions, which combine hydraulics, steel fabrication and electronic controls with engineering and application knowledge, are typically utilized in major infrastructure projects (bridges, stadiums, tunnels and offshore platforms) for heavy lifting, launching & skidding or synchronous lifting applications.

The Industrial segment has leveraged production and engineering capabi lities to also offer a range of workholding products (work supports, swing cylinders and system components) that are marketed through distributors to the automotive, machine tool and fixture design markets. In addition, the segment designs, manufactures and distributes concrete pre- and post-tensioning products (chucks and wedges, stressing jacks and anchors) which are used by concrete tensioning system designers, fabricators and installers for the residential and commercial construction, railroad, bridge, infrastructure and mining markets.

Energy

The Energy segment provides technical products and services to the global energy markets, where safety, security, reliability and productivity are key value drivers. Products include joint integrity tools and connectors for oil & gas and power generation installations, as well as rope and cable solutions. In addition to these products, the Energy segment also provides manpower services, including machinin g, engineering and maintenance activities. The products and ! services ! of the Energy segment are distributed and marketed under various brand names (principally Hydratight, D.L. Ricci, Morgrip, Cortland, FibronBX, Puget Sound Rope, Biach, Selantic and Jeyco) to OEMs, maintenance and service organizations and energy producers in emerging and developed countries.

Joint integrity products include hydraulic torque wrenches, bolt tensioners and portable machining equipment. These products are used in the maintenance of bolted joints on oil rigs and platforms, wind turbines, refineries and pipelines, petrochemical installations, as well as fossil fuel and nuclear power plants. The Energy segment also provides rope and cable solutions that maximize performance, safety and efficiency for customers in various markets, including oil and gas, heavy marine, subsea, ROV and seismic. With its global design and manufacturing capabilities the Cortland business is able to provide customized synthetic ropes, heavy lift slings, specialized mooring, r igging and towing systems, electro-optical-mechanical cables and umbilicals to customers, including firms, such as CGG Veritas, Expro and Sercel. These products are utilized in critical applications, often deployed in harsh operating conditions (sub-sea oil & gas production, maintenance and exploration) and are required to meet robust safety standards. In addition custom designed products are also sold into a range of other niche markets including medical, security, aerospace and defense.

Electrical

The Electrical segment is involved in the design, manufacture and distribution of a broad range of electrical products to the retail DIY, OEM, electrical distribution, power transformation and harsh environment electrical markets. The Electrical segment sells its products through a combination of distributors, direct sales personnel and manufacturers’ representatives. The Electrical segment provides the retail DIY market with a range of electrical tools and consumables, such as wire strippers, electrical meters,! connecto! rs, terminals, cable ties, staples and other wire management products and conduit bending equipment under the Gardner Bender, Del City and A.W. Sperry brands. These products are sold to retailers, such as Lowe’s, The Home Depot, Menards, True Value and Ace Hardware, as well as numerous electrical distributors and OEM’s.

The Electrical segment sells power transformation products in North America, including low voltage, single-phase dry type transformers and custom toroidal transformers under the Acme Electric brand name and high voltage switches under the Turner Electric brand name. These transformers are sold through electrical wholesale distributors, as well as directly to OEMs, such as Rockwell Automation, Eaton, Yaskawa and General Electric. Product offerings also include electrical components and systems for the harsh environment and marine markets under the Ancor, Marinco, Guest, Mastervolt and B.E.P Marine brand names. These products are primarily sold to various customers in the industrial, marine, power generation, industrial and retail markets, including West Marine, Applied Materials and Kohler. Solar products (primarily high efficiency solar inverters for residential and small commercial applications) are sold through local distributors and installers.

Engineered Solutions

The Engineered Solutions segment is a global designer and assembler of customized position and motion control systems and other industrial products to various transportation and other niche markets. This segment focuses on providing technical and engineered products, including actuation systems, mechanical power transmission products, engine air flow management solutions and rugged electronic instrumentation. Products in the Engineered Solutions segment are primarily marketed directly to OEMs through a technical sales organization. Approximately 55% of this segment’s revenue comes from the vehicle systems product line (Power -Packer, Gits and Power Gear brands), which is sold to the t! ruck, aut! omotive, off-highway and specialty vehicle markets. Products include hydraulic cab-tilt and latching systems, which are sold to global heavy duty truck OEMs, such as Volvo, Iveco, Scania, Paccar-DAF and CNHTC and electro-hydraulic convertible top latching and actuation systems. The automotive convertible top actuation systems are utilized on both retractable soft and hard top vehicles manufactured by OEMs, such as Daimler, Volkswagen, Renault, Peugeot, BMW, Volvo and Nissan.

The Company’s diesel engine air flow solutions, such as exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) systems, are used by diesel engine and turbocharger manufacturers to reduce emissions, improve fuel efficiency and horsepower. Primary end markets include heavy duty truck and off-highway equipment serving customers, such as Caterpillar, Cummins, Honeywell and Borg Warner. It also sells actuation systems to various specialty vehicle OEMs (principally in the defense, recreational vehicle and off-highway ma rkets), such as Oshkosh and Fleetwood.

The Maxima Technologies tuck-in acquisitions of Turotest Medidores Ltda and CrossControl AB, along with the fiscal 2011 acquisition of Weasler Engineering have further diversified the geographic presence, technologies and end markets of the Engineered Solutions segment. The range of products, technologies and engineered solutions of Weasler Engineering, Maxima Technologies, Elliott Manufacturing, Sanlo and Nielsen Sessions comprise the other product line within the segment. Products include severe-duty electronic instrumentation (including displays and clusters, machine controls and sensors), power transmission products (engineered power transmission components, including drive shafts, torque limiters, gearboxes, torsional dampers and flexible shafts), and a comprehensive line of case, container and industrial hardware. These products are sold to a range of niche markets, including agricultural implement, lawn & turf, cons truction, forestry, industrial, aerospace, material handling! and secu! rity.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    General Electric’s earnings could also be a good sign for Actuant (ATU), United Technologies (UTX) and Honeywell International (HON), Dray says.

  • [By Seth Jayson]

    Calling all cash flows
    When you are trying to buy the market’s best stocks, it’s worth checking up on your companies’ free cash flow once a quarter or so, to see whether it bears any relationship to the net income in the headlines. That’s what we do with this series. Today, we’re checking in on Actuant (NYSE: ATU  ) , whose recent revenue and earnings are plotted below.

  • [By Seth Jayson]

    When judging a company’s prospects, how quickly it turns cash outflows into cash inflows can be just as important as how much profit it’s booking in the accounting fantasy world we call “earnings.” This is one of the first metrics I check when I’m hunting for the market’s best stocks. Today, we’ll see how it applies to Actuant (NYSE: ATU  ) .

  • [By Rich Duprey]

    Choosing to focus instead on its industrial, energy, and engineered solutions segments, diversified industrial specialist Actuant (NYSE: ATU  ) is jettisoning its electrical division, a move it expects to be completed in fiscal year 2014.

5 Best Machinery Stocks To Buy Right Now: Rockwell Automation Inc.(ROK)

Rockwell Automation, Inc. provides industrial automation power, control, and information solutions. It operates in two segments, Architecture and Software, and Control Products and Solutions. The Architecture and Software segment offers control platforms that perform multiple control disciplines and monitoring of applications, including discrete, batch and continuous process, drives control, motion control, and machine safety control; and products comprising controllers, electronic operator interface devices, electronic input/output devices, communication and networking products, and industrial computers. This segment also offers software products, such as configuration and visualization software used to operate and supervise control platforms, advanced process control software, and manufacturing execution software to enhance manufacturing productivity and meet regulatory requirements; and rotary and linear motion control products, and sensors and machine safety components . The Control Products and Solutions segment provides low and medium voltage electro-mechanical and electronic motor starters, motor and circuit protection devices, AC/DC variable frequency drives, push buttons, signaling devices, termination and protection devices, relays and timers, and condition sensors; and packaged solutions, such as configured drives and motor control centers to automation and information solutions, as well as life-cycle support services. The company sells its products, solutions, and services primarily under the Rockwell Automation, Allen-Bradley, A-B, and Rockwell Software brand names to the food and beverage, transportation, oil and gas, metals, mining, home and personal care, pulp and paper, and life sciences markets through independent distributors and direct sales force in the United States, Canada, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, the Asia Pacific, and Latin America. Rockwell Automation, Inc. was founded in 1928 and is headquartered in Milwauke e , Wisconsin.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By John Kell]

    Rockwell Automation Inc.(ROK) said its fiscal first-quarter earnings jumped 23% as operating margins widened and sales in both segments increased. Results topped estimates, pushing shares up 2.6% to $118 premarket.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    That negative sentiment “flashed as a positive indicator,” Inch and Lau say, and some stocks appear to be “‘locked and loaded’ to meaningfully exceed forecast estimates.” Those include Rockwell Automation (ROK), Eaton (ETN) and Emerson Electric (EMR).

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Barclays’ Scott Davis and team believe it might be, and for evidence they look at 3M (MMM), Emerson Electric (EMR), Rockwell Automation (ROK), and MSC Industrial Direct (MSM). They write:

5 Best Machinery Stocks To Buy Right Now: Danaher Corp (DHR)

Danaher Corporation (Danaher) designs, manufactures and markets professional, medical, industrial and commercial products and services. The Company’s research and development, manufacturing, sales, distribution, service and administrative facilities are located in more than 50 countries. It operates in five segments: Test & Measurement; Environmental; Life Sciences & Diagnostics; Dental; and Industrial Technologies. In April 2011, the Company sold its Pacific Scientific Aerospace (PSA) business. On June 30, 2011, the Company acquired Beckman Coulter, Inc. (Beckman Coulter). In January 2012, the Company sold its Accu-Sort businesses. In February 2012, the Company sold its Kollmorgen Electro-Optical (KEO) business. During the year ended December 31, 2011, the Company acquired EskoArtwork, On February 6, 2012, L-3 Communications Holdings, Inc. acquired Kollmorgen Electro-Optical unit of the Company. In January 2013, the Company acquired Navman Wireless.

TEST & MEASUREMENT

The Company’s Test & Measurement segment is a provider of electronic measurement instruments and monitoring, management and optimization tools for communications and enterprise networks and related services. The segment’s products are used in the design, development, manufacture, installation, deployment and operation of electronics equipment and communications networks and services. Customers for these products and services include manufacturers of electronic instruments; service, installation and maintenance professionals; manufacturers who design, develop, manufacture and install network equipment, and service providers who implement, maintain and manage communications networks and services.

The Company’s business designs, manufactures, and markets a variety of compact professional test tools, thermal imaging and calibration equipment for electrical, industrial, electronic and calibration applications. These test products measu re voltage, current, resistance, power quality, frequency, p! ressure, temperature and air quality. Typical users of these products include electrical engineers, electricians, electronic technicians, medical technicians, and industrial maintenance professionals. Its business also offers general purpose test products and video test, measurement and monitoring products used in electronic design, manufacturing and advanced technology development. The business’ general purpose test products, including oscilloscopes, logic analyzers, signal sources and spectrum analyzers, are used to capture, display and analyze streams of electrical data. The Company sells these products into a variety of industries with electronic content, including the communications, computer, consumer electronics, education, military/aerospace and semiconductor industries.

Typical users include research and development engineers who use its general purpose test products to design, de-bug, monitor and validate the function and performance of electronic c omponents, subassemblies and end-products. Its video test products include waveform monitors, video signal generators, compressed digital video test products and other test and measurement equipment used to enhance a viewer’s video experience. Typical users of these products include video equipment manufacturers, content developers and traditional television broadcasters. Products in this business are marketed under the FLUKE, TEKTRONIX, KEITHLEY, RAYTEK, FLUKE BIOMEDICAL, AMPROBE and MAXTEK brands.

The communications businesses offer network management solutions, handheld and fixed diagnostic equipment and security solutions, as well as related installation and maintenance services, for a range of private network applications, as well fixed and mobile communications systems. Typical users of the business’ products include network engineers, installers, operators, and technicians. Its network management tools help network operators continuously manage networ k performance and optimize the utilization, uptime and servi! ce qualit! y of the network. Products in this business are marketed under the TEKTRONIX, FLUKE NETWORKS, ARBOR, VISUAL NETWORKS and AIRMAGNET brands.

Matco Tools manufactures and distributes professional tools, toolboxes and automotive equipment through independent mobile distributors, who sell primarily to professional mechanics under the MATCO brand. Hennessy Industries is a North American full-line wheel service equipment manufacturer, providing brake lathes, vehicle lifts, tire changers, wheel balancers, and wheel weights under the AMMCO, BADA and COATS brands. Typical users of these products are automotive tire and repair shops. Sales are generally made through its direct sales personnel, independent distributors, retailers, and original equipment manufacturers.

ENVIRONMENTAL

The Company’s Environmental segment provides products that help protect its water supply and air quality and serves two primary markets: water quality and retail/com mercial petroleum. Danaher’s water quality business is engaged in water quality analysis and treatment, providing instrumentation and disinfection systems to help analyze and manage the quality of ultra pure, potable and waste water in residential, commercial, industrial and natural resource applications. Its water quality operations design, manufacture and market a range of analytical instruments, related consumables, and associated services that detect and measure chemical, physical, and microbiological parameters in ultra pure, potable and waste water as well as groundwater and ocean bodies; ultraviolet disinfection systems, which disinfect billions of gallons of municipal, industrial and consumer water every day in more than 35 countries, and industrial water treatment solutions, including chemical treatment solutions intended to address corrosion, scaling and biological growth problems in boiler, cooling water and industrial waste water applications, as well as associ ated analytical services. Typical users of its analytical in! struments! , ultraviolet disinfection systems, industrial water treatment solutions and related consumables and services include professionals in municipal drinking water and waste water treatment plants and industrial process water and waste water treatment facilities, third-party testing laboratories and environmental field operations. Its water quality business provides products under a variety of well-known brands, including HACH, HACH/LANGE, TROJAN TECHNOLOGIES and CHEMTREAT. Manufacturing facilities are located in North America, Europe, and Asia.

The Company has served the retail/commercial petroleum market through its Veeder-Root business. Gilbarco Veeder-Root is a provider of products and services for the retail/commercial petroleum market, including environmental monitoring and leak detection systems; vapor recovery equipment; fuel dispensers; point-of-sale and secure electronic payment technologies for retail petroleum stations; submersible turbine pumps, and rem ote monitoring and outsourced fuel management services, including compliance services, fuel system maintenance, and inventory planning and supply chain support. Typical users of these products include independent and Company-owned retail petroleum stations, high-volume retailers, convenience stores, and commercial vehicle fleets. The Company markets its retail/commercial petroleum products under a variety of brands, including GILBARCO, VEEDER-ROOT, and GILBARCO AUTOTANK. Manufacturing facilities are located in North America, Europe, Asia and Latin America. Sales are generally made through independent distributors and its direct sales personnel.

LIFE SCIENCES & DIAGNOSTICS

The Company’s diagnostics businesses offer a range of analytical instruments, reagents, consumables, software and services that hospitals, physician’s offices, reference laboratories and other critical care settings use to diagnose disease and make treatment decisions. Its life sciences businesses offer a range of research and clinical ! tools tha! t are used by scientists to study cells and cell components to gain a better understanding of complex biological matters. Pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, universities, medical schools and research institutions use these tools to study the causes of disease, identify new therapies and test new drugs and vaccines. The diagnostics business consists of its core lab, acute care and pathology diagnostics businesses.

The Company’s core lab diagnostics business is a manufacturer and marketer of biomedical testing instrument systems, tests and supplies that are used to evaluate and analyze samples made up of body fluids, cells and other substances. The information generated is used to diagnose disease, monitor and guide treatment and therapy, assist in managing chronic disease and assess patient status in the hospital, outpatient and physician office settings. Its chemistry systems use electrochemical detection and chemical reactions with patient samples t o detect and quantify substances of diagnostic interest in blood and other body fluids. Commonly performed tests include glucose, cholesterol, triglycerides, electrolytes, proteins and enzymes.

The Company’s immunoassay systems also detect and quantify chemical substances of diagnostic interest in body fluids, particularly in circumstances where more specialized diagnosis is required. Commonly performed immunoassay tests assess thyroid function, screen and monitor for cancer and cardiac risk and provide important information in fertility and reproductive testing. Its cellular analysis business includes hematology, flow cytometry and coagulation products. The business’ hematology systems use principles of physics, optics, electronics and chemistry to separate cells of diagnostic interest and then quantify and characterize them, allowing clinicians to study formed elements in blood (such as red and white blood cells and platelets). The business also distribut es coagulation products, which rely on clotting, chromogenic! and immu! nologic technologies to provide the detailed information that clinicians require to diagnose bleeding and clotting disorders and to monitor anticoagulant therapy. It also offer systems and workflow solutions that allow laboratories to automate a number of steps from the pre-analytical through post-analytical stages including sample barcoding/information tracking, centrifugation, aliquotting, storage and conveyance. These systems along with the analyzers above are controlled through laboratory level software that enables laboratory managers to monitor samples, results and lab efficiency.

The Company’s acute care diagnostics business is a provider of instruments and related consumables and services that are used in both laboratory and point-of-care environments to rapidly measure critical parameters, including blood gases, electrolytes, metabolites and cardiac markers. Typical users of these products include hospital central laboratories, intensive care units, hospital operating rooms and hospital emergency rooms. Its pathology diagnostics business is engaged in the anatomical pathology market, offering a suite of instrumentation and related consumables used across the entire workflow of a pathology laboratory. Its pathology diagnostics products include tissue embedding, processing and slicing (microtomes) instruments and related reagents and consumables; chemical and immuno-staining instruments, reagents, antibodies and consumables; slide coverslipping and slide/cassette marking instruments, and imaging instrumentation including slide scanners, microscopes, cameras and associated software. Typical users of these products include pathologists, lab managers and researchers. Its diagnostics business generally markets its products under the BECKMAN COULTER, LEICA BIOSYSTEMS, RADIOMETER and SURGIPATH brands. Manufacturing facilities are located in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia. The businesses sell to customers primarily th rough direct sales personnel and to a lesser extent through ! independe! nt distributors.

The Company’s microscopy business is a provider of professional microscopes designed to manipulate, preserve and capture images of, and enhance the user’s visualization of, microscopic structures. Its microscopy products include laser scanning (confocal) microscopes; compound microscopes and related equipment; surgical and other stereo microscopes; specimen preparation products for electron microscopy; and digital image capture and manipulation equipment. The Company also offers workflow instruments and consumables that help researchers analyze genomic, protein and cellular information. Key product areas include sample preparation equipment, such as centrifugation and capillary electrophoresis instrumentation and consumables; liquid handling automation instruments and associated consumables; flow cytometry instrumentation and associated antibodies and reagents; and particle characterization instrumentation. The business also offers genome pr ofiling services. Researchers use the business’ products to study biological function in the pursuit of basic research, therapeutic and diagnostic development. Typical users of these products include pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, universities, medical schools and research institutions and in some cases industrial manufacturers.

The Company’s mass spectrometry business is a provider of high-end mass spectrometers. Mass spectrometry is a technique for identifying, analyzing and quantifying elements, chemical compounds and biological molecules, individually or in complex mixtures. Its products utilize various combinations of quadrupole, time-of-flight and ion trap technologies, and are typically used in conjunction with a third party liquid chromatography instrument. Its mass spectrometer systems are used in numerous applications, such as drug discovery and clinical development of therapeutics as well as in basic research, clinical testing, food and beverage quality testing and environmental testing. To s! upport it! s installations around the world, it provides implementation, validation, training, maintenance and support from its global services network. Typical users of its mass spectrometry products include molecular biologists, bioanalytical chemists, toxicologists, and forensic scientists, as well as quality assurance and quality control technicians. It also provides high-performance bioanalytical measurement systems, including microplate readers, automated cellular screening products and associated reagents, and imaging software. Typical users of these products include biologists and chemists engaged in research and drug discovery, who use these products to determine electrical or chemical activity in cell samples. Its life sciences business generally markets its products under the LEICA MICROSYSTEMS, BECKMAN COULTER, AB SCIEX and MOLECULAR DEVICES brands. Manufacturing facilities are located in Europe, Australia, Asia and North America.

DENTAL

The Compa ny’s Dental segment is a provider of a range of consumables, equipment and services for the dental market, which encompasses the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease and ailments of the teeth, gums and supporting bone. Its dental businesses develop, manufacture and market dental consumables and dental equipment orthodontic bracket systems and lab products; impression, bonding and restorative materials; endodontic systems and related consumables; infection prevention products, and diamond and carbide rotary instruments. Typical customers and users of these products include general dentists, dental specialists, dental hygienists, dental laboratories and other oral health professionals, as well as educational, medical and governmental entities. Its dental products are marketed primarily under the KAVO, GENDEX, iCAT, INSTRUMENTARIUM DENTAL, SOREDEX, PELTON & CRANE, DEXIS, ORMCO, KERR, PENTRON, SYBRON ENDO and TOTAL CARE brands.

INDUSTRIAL TECHNOLOGIES

The Company’s Industrial Technologies segment ! designs a! nd manufactures components and systems that are typically incorporated by original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and systems integrators for sale into a diverse set of applications and end-markets. The businesses in this segment also provide service and support, including helping customers with integration and installation and providing services to ensure performance and up-time. Danaher’s product identification business is a global provider of equipment and consumables for variable printing, marking and coding on a variety of consumer and industrial products. Its businesses design, manufacture, and market a variety of equipment used to print bar codes, date codes, lot codes, and other information on primary and secondary packaging. Its equipment can apply alphanumeric codes, logos and graphics to a range of surfaces at a variety of line speeds, angles and locations on a product or package.

EskoArtwork, the business is a service solutions provider for the dig ital packaging design and production market. Typical users of the product identification business’ products include food and beverage manufacturers, pharmaceutical manufacturers, retailers and commercial printing and mailing operations. Its product identification products are primarily marketed under the VIDEOJET, LINX, FOBA and ESKOARTWORK brands. Manufacturing facilities are located in North America, Europe, Latin America, and Asia. The Company is a provider of electromechanical motion control solutions for the industrial automation and packaging markets. Its businesses provide a range of products including standard and custom motors; drives; controls, and mechanical components, such as ball screws, linear bearings, clutches/brakes, and linear actuators.

The products are sold in various precision motion markets, such as the markets for packaging equipment, medical equipment, robotics, circuit board assembly equipment, elevators and electric vehicles (such as lift trucks). Its motion products are marketed under a vari! ety of br! ands, including KOLLMORGEN, THOMSON, DOVER and PORTESCAP. Manufacturing facilities are located in North America, Europe, Latin America, and Asia. Its sensors and controls products include instruments that monitor, sense and control discrete manufacturing variables such as temperature, position, quantity, level, flow and time. Users of these products span a wide variety of manufacturing markets. Certain businesses included in this group also make and sell instruments, controls and monitoring systems used by the electric utility industry to monitor their transmission and distribution systems, as well as automatic identification solutions. The products are marketed under a variety of brands, including DYNAPAR, HENGSTLER, IRIS POWER, WEST, GEMS SENSORS, SETRA and QUALITROL. Sales are generally made through our direct sales personnel and independent distributors.

The Company’s defense business designs, manufactures, and markets energetic material systems. Typical users of these products include defense systems integrators and prime contractors. defense products are typically marketed under the PACIFIC SCIENTIFIC ENERGETIC MATERIALS COMPANY brand. The KEO business designs, develops, manufactures and integrates highly engineered, stabilized electro-optical/ISR systems that integrate into submarines, surface ships and ground vehicles. Jacobs Vehicle Systems (JVS) is a supplier of supplemental braking systems for commercial vehicles, selling JAKE BRAKE brand engine retarders for class 6 through 8 vehicles and bleeder and exhaust brakes for class 2 through 7 vehicles. Customers are primarily manufacturers of class 2 through class 8 vehicles, and sales are typically made through its direct sales personnel. Manufacturing facilities of its sensors and controls, defense and JVS businesses are located in North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    3M (MMM) has outperformed Danaher (DHR) during the past six months. Does the way investors view how they deploy capital help explain the difference?

  • [By victorselva]

    General Electric has a current ratio of 10% which is lower than all the comps: 3M Company (MMM), Danaher Corp. (DHR), Carlisle Companies Incorporated (CSL), Koninklijke Philips N.V (PHG) and Raven Industries Inc. (RAVN).