Those who know me and/or read my writings for The Motley Fool know that I'm something of a skeptic and cynic. So when I see a stock that looks cheaper than it should be, my first thought is that there has to be something else I'm missing. Such are my present feelings about diversified machinery company Ingersoll-Rand
So far at least, business is strong. Revenue grew 13% for the quarter and organic revenue growth was 10% -- not a bad performance at all. Going a step further, four of the five company divisions posted double-digit growth, and the one that didn't (climate control) was flat for the quarter.
Overall profit performance was strong as well. Consolidated operating margins improved by about 70 basis points, and operating income grew about 19%. Looking at net income from continuing operations, Ingersoll-Rand posted 22% growth, and average shares outstanding decreased.
Part and parcel of the company's strategy has been an attempt to make the company less cyclically sensitive. Nevertheless, the company is still poised to benefit from commercial construction and civil engineering. While construction revenue climbed 21% this quarter primarily on the strength of road-repair equipment, many companies seem to think the best is still ahead in these markets.
Looking at the stock today, it would seem that the market doesn't believe that the company has freed itself much from the cyclical roller coaster. In fact, Ingersoll-Rand sports the sort of P/E that you would normally associate with a cyclical peak. But with businesses such as refrigeration equipment/climate control, Schlage locks, generators, turbines, and so on, I think the company has enough breadth (and quality) to continue to grow.
For a trailing P/E of about 14, investors get a broadly diversified company that has beaten estimates several times in a row and seen analysts' estimates head up in response. Maybe my ongoing due diligence will turn up a hidden skeleton or two, but for now this growing industrial conglomerate looks kinda interesting.
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Fool contributor Stephen Simpson has no financial interest in any stocks mentioned (that means he's neither long nor short the shares).