Yeah, I know, Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG) is pretty boring. It's got none of the pizzazz of high-flying tech stocks, none of the ups and downs of biotechs, and no truly revolutionary product. But those are all reasons you should love the company, especially in this economic environment, teetering on the brink of deflation.

P&G has shown remarkable stability in its revenue growth over the last few years. Its products are diversified across goods that consumers use every day, making the company a stable cash machine. In fact, the company has been able to consistently grow its products, such that its segments comprise approximately the same percentage of total sales in 2009 as they did in 2006.

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Pgsales

Procter's fabric and home-care division is its heavyweight, and in the most recently reported quarter, the consumer-goods giant managed to gain detergent share over rivals, even though it required some price cuts.

P&G's stability is evidenced by an average 5% revenue growth rate over the last three years, which produced 15.7% average annual increases in earnings. Along the way, P&G managed to boost its dividend by 12.6% per year on average. Those stable but rising numbers are a consequence of the company's everyday-use products and its relentless hunt for profitable markets.

While metrics from competitors such as Colgate-Palmolive (NYSE: CL) and Church & Dwight (NYSE: CHD) are somewhat better than what P&G mustered over the same period, those stocks are also more expensive on a price-to-earnings (P/E) basis, relative to Procter's 14.8 times earnings.

Company

3-Year Sales Growth

3-Year Earnings Growth

P/E (TTM)

Colgate-Palmolive

8.4%

16.2%

19.2

Church & Dwight

11.8%

18.9%

18.5

Source: Yahoo! Finance and CapitalIQ, a division of Standard & Poor's as of June 3, 2010.
TTM = trailing 12 months.

The reliability of its consumer-goods franchise is one reason that Procter & Gamble is a portfolio must.