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ADT (ADT - Get Report) spun off from
Tyco International(TYC) last fall, and it's been another stellar relative strength name ever since; shares are up more than 31% from their first trading session. Hedge funds love the stock too. They added 3.89 million shares in the last quarter, boosting their collective stake in the firm to $188 million.
ADT provides security, fire, and carbon monoxide monitoring services for more than 6.4 million residential and business customers in North America. That's a lucrative business for a few reasons. For starters, customers sign lucrative, relatively long-term contracts to add ADT's services, a practice that keeps multi-year retention rates extremely high. And because customers go to the trouble (and expense) of installing ADT hardware on their premises, switching costs are even higher.
There have been significant consolidations in the security business, but ADT remains the brand leader. Brand matters considerably for consumers looking for security services, a fact that gives ADT a big economic moat over competitors. ADT's newer Pulse platform adds more functionality to customers' security systems, adding value for owners and giving ADT a big source of coveted add-on service revenues. With high levels of profitability and a new standalone corporate positioning, expect ADT to continue to fare well in 2013.