Graco's EPS Up 20% Or More In 10 Of Past 20 Years

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Some stocks are known for quick sprints. Others share the characteristics of a marathon runner, slower gains at a steadier pace.

Slower, though, needn't mean lower. Cumulative gains over time add up big.

Graco ( GGG ) is a marathon runner but at a front-runner pace. In the past 20 years, the company didn't have a single year when it lost money. In 10 of those 20 years, it grew EPS more than 20%.

The stock price fell for the year in only three of those 20 years. And the overall price performance has been stunning. Since Dec. 31, 1992, the Nasdaq has risen 459%, and the S&P 500 is up 288%, not including dividends.

Graco has risen 3,970%. That's no typo.

(Apple ( AAPL ) rose 3,132% in the same period, though if the comparison had ended a year ago, Apple would've had a 4,366% gain.)

Graco's more recent numbers also are good. Since the March 2009 switch to a bull market, Graco's stock rose 341% vs. 164% and 124% for the Nasdaq and S&P 500, respectively.

This year Graco's year-to-date gain of 43% easily tops the indexes 19% to 25% gains.

Minneapolis-based Graco provides premium pumps and spray equipment for fluid handling. Graco equipment does everything from squeezing tomato paste onto frozen pizzas to putting high-gloss finishes on cars. Markets included construction, manufacturing, processing and maintenance.

In the past three years, Graco grew earnings 97%, 37% and last year, 4%. Revenue advanced 28%, 20% and 13%. The Street expects 38% earnings growth this year on an 8% revenue pop.

The annualized dividend yield is 1.4%. The payout has more than tripled since 2003.

Graco's daily dollar volume is $12.6 million, not great but enough for professionals to work with. Institutional support has been steady in recent quarters. Shareholders include the A+ rated Wasatch Core Growth.

About 53% of total sales were outside the U.S. in the second quarter.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

This article appears in: Investing , Investing Ideas
Referenced Symbols: AAPL , GGG

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