Three Top-Performing Stocks in a Dreary Industry

YCharts

Hey, let’s all get excited about industrial suppliers – the business of playing middleman between manufacturers and end-of-the-line customers and stocking zillions of little whatchamacallit’s.

YCharts has in the recent past showcased two rocket-like stocks in this sector, the dividend growth champ W.W. Grainger (GWW) and the quarter-century-market beater Fastenal (FAST).

Let’s throw into the mix Wesco International (WCC), and regardless of which of the three stocks you’d have chosen a decade ago, you’d have at a minimum a 481% gain vs. 81% for the S&P 500. Wesco was recently featured in Barron’s 500 America’s Best Companies as No. 2. The list aims to find companies that invest wisely and effectively for growth.

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WCC Chart

Despite being shined up in Barron’s, Wesco remains the cheaper of the three stocks, based on PE ratio.

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WCC PE Ratio TTM Chart

And that isn’t because it’s a slacker on growth. The industry is consolidating and acquisitions are part of the growth strategy.

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WCC Revenue TTM Chart

Wesco has a thinner profit margin than the other two. Wesco has nonetheless outpaced Grainger and Fastenal in EPS growth over the decade.

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WCC EPS Diluted TTM Chart

Jeff Bailey, The Editor of YCharts, is a former reporter, editor and columnist at the Wall Street Journal and New York Times. He can be reached at editor@ycharts.com.


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