Maybe you thought fellow Fool Brian Pacampara was kidding when he said that Emerson Electric (NYSE: EMR) was poised to pop. It's a boring large-cap in the sleepy electronic equipment industry, cast in the mold of equally excitement-free General Electric (NYSE: GE), ABB (NYSE: ABB), and Honeywell (NYSE: HON). How far can that kind of narcolepsy-inducing stock really pop?

Pretty far, as it turns out. Emerson has delivered an 8% return since Brian's article hit the wires, which ain't half bad for holding a stock for about two weeks. Moreover, the whole sector must be on a steady diet of frog legs nowadays: Every ticker I mentioned above has beaten the S&P 500 benchmark in that period.

The feather in Emerson's cap is this morning's third-quarter report. Net sales improved by 11% year over year to land at $5.6 billion, including a 4% positive impact from currency exchange effects and acquisitions. That's nice, but the showstopper stat was earnings that gained 53% to $0.78 per share.

Emerson CEO David Farr expects a slow and steady climb over the coming quarters as the global economy stabilizes. "This will be an environment where well-managed, global industrial companies can operate quite efficiently," Farr said. In the third quarter, each of Emerson's six divisions reported both higher sales and fatter margins, underscoring Farr's words. It's the combined result of cost-savings effort on top of economies of scale kicking in with the higher sales figures.

Emerson is a longtime five-star CAPS stock. Its track record of raising dividends like clockwork stretches back over 53 years, and management often states that cash flow generation is a real focus for the company. A lot of investors, including our own Income Investor newsletter analysts, would take that rock-steady consistency over flashy growth any day. What's not to like when you get all of that with a side of earnings growth?

Fool contributor Anders Bylund holds no position in any of the companies discussed here. ABB is a Motley Fool Global Gains recommendation. Emerson Electric is a Motley Fool Income Investor choice. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days. You can check out Anders' holdings and a concise bio, if you like, and The Motley Fool is investors writing for investors.