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It's been a more standard year for diversified manufacturer
Danaher (DHR - Get Report) -- shares have matched the market's performance for most of 2012. But this stock could be due for some outperformance in the next few months as industrial sales turn up from a cyclical trough. Danaher is a niche player that operates in a large number of niches: because the firm sells everything from advanced medical to tools and testing instruments, it's less susceptible to the ebb and flow of consumer sales than many other manufacturers are.
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Growth by acquisition has been Danaher's strategy for the past several years, giving the firm to immediately step into a new business as long as it can buy it at a good price. Much of that acquisition strategy has been fueled internally by cash, resulting in a very manageable debt load for investors. With a net cash position that's ballooned in the last few years, and equity valuations still depressed under the thumb of anxious investors, that should open the door to some attractive tuck-in acquisition opportunities for Danaher this year.
Danaher is fastidious about its financial performance. It avoids buying new businesses that will dilute its double-digit margins, and it has managed to deliver stair-step growth on its income statement in each of the last three years. We're betting on shares of this Rocket Stock this week.