Earnings season among the industrial heavyweights is in full swing, and the numbers kinda sting. From General Electric
Danawho? Exactly. The large conglomerate, which makes everything from postal scanners to dental instruments, is far from a household name. Part of the reason is that Danaher, as a serial acquirer, has so many subsidiaries operating under their original monikers. These latest results might make the name Danaher stick in your mind, however.
On the top line, Danaher's consolidated revenue was off 13%. Compare that with the 21% decrease over at Post-it powerhouse 3M
Best of all, though, was Danaher's cash flow performance. It's not for nothing that I've dubbed this company a king of cash flow; the 5% drop in cash generation is simply dynamite compared with the deep declines over at United Technologies
Granted, Danaher benefited from four extra days in its first quarter. But this is hardly on the scale of Goldman Sachs' recent sleight of hand. That bank's unmatched brazenness reached new heights when it changed its reporting calendar, sidestepping a $1 billion loss from December in its latest earnings release.
During boom times, workhorse companies like Danaher tend to fade into the background. With less cyclical components such as its medical technologies division supporting Danaher's earning power during this depressed period, the company finally gets a chance to shine. Maybe Fools will finally start talking about this industrial elephant in the room.