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Ametek's(AME - Get Report) enjoying similarly market-beating performance in 2012, buoyed by strong earnings this year. The $9 billion electronic instruments company builds electronic components that range from temperature sensors to specialty motors used by original equipment manufacturers. That niche business affords AME a sticky customer base with a high switching cost, two critical factors for success in the manufacturing sector.
Ametek is the perfect example of a "boring" business that continues to perform at a strong rate. While the firm's electric motors may not garner the same consumer excitement as
Apple's(AAPL) new iPhone, they have helped to spur substantial fundamental growth for shareholders over the past few years; since 2007, Ametek has managed to grow its top line at average double-digit rates. That and deep net profit margins have helped to secure Ametek's spot as a strong performer, particularly overseas where manufacturing continues to be the bread and butter industry.
By and large, the firm sports less debt than the typical growth-by-acquisition play, picking up smaller names to add to the AME corporate umbrella using cash from operations more often than debt. That positioning is part of the reason that Ametek bounced back so quickly from the Great Recession, and it's also part of why the stock continues to look attractive today.
I also featured Ametek earlier this month in "
5 Rocket Stocks Ready for Blastoff."