As my title is meant to suggest, there aren't a lot of flashy or exciting things going on at Danaher
Danaher has never been a robust top-line grower, and this quarter was no different. Sure, better than 21% growth in reported revenue looks impressive, but carve down to the organic growth, and you see a number more like 6%. And that mid-single-digit core growth was consistent across the business -- the large segments dealing with professional instrumentation and industrial technology posted 6% and 7.5% core growth, respectively, while the much smaller tools business brought up the rear with 3.5% growth.
Though the company once again posted good cash flow growth, the margin-compression issue remains. Operating margins slipped a bit from last year, though the company points out that they would have been up more than a full point if not for acquisitions and stock-option expense. Trouble is, acquisitions are a core part of this business -- there have been five deals to date this year. So I'm not sure whether investors should entirely ignore that impact, though I do realize that Danaher deserves a break when it comes to giving the company time to bring up the performance of acquired businesses to normal standards.
Danaher faces off against top-end companies ranging from Bayer
The question now, perhaps, is how Danaher will navigate what appears to be a slowing economy. This could be an opportunity for the advantages of diversity to show themselves -- segments such as medical technology aren't so economically sensitive -- but even if the economy does slow, I have little doubt that Danaher will hunker down and push through it. After all, good businesses aren't built by accident, and they don't fail just because economic growth slows.
For more amalgamated Foolishness:
Want a mix of stocks as varied as Danaher's product lineup? Try out Motley Fool Stock Advisor , where Tom and David Gardner scour the entire market for their recommendations. They're both handily beating the market. Want in? Try it out free for 30 days. There's no risk.
Fool contributor Stephen Simpson has no financial interest in any stocks mentioned (that means he's neither long nor short the shares).