Some stocks are known for quick sprints. Others share the
characteristics of a marathon runner, slower gains at a steadier
Slower, though, needn't mean lower. Cumulative gains over time
add up big.
) 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.
) 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