One name that I think is worth owning is Emerson Electric (EMR) under the leadership of David Farr, who is one of the strongest CEOs in the sector. Throughout his tenure he has overseen several restructurings, operating margin improvements and boosts in shareholder value via dividends and buybacks. He's right up there with Sandy Cutler at Eaton and Dave Cote at Honeywell in terms of consistent execution.
EMR is about as industrial as you get. It's a global manufacturer of power equipment, HVAC gear, industrial and process automation equipment and tools and storage products. It operates in five segments: process management (36% of revenue), industrial automation (20% of total), network power (20%), climate technologies (16%) and commercial & residential solutions (8%). Some of its key end markets include residential and nonresidential HVAC, residential and non-residential construction, oil & gas, autos and communications, pretty much exposed to where we are seeing the turn.
It's also geographically diversified, with 45% of its sales in the U.S., 20% in Europe and 24% in Asia. It has a third of its sales coming from emerging markets and has proactively reduced its exposure to China to 9% from 13%, given the slowdown that is occurring in this region. I like the mix. The U.S. and Europe, as well as Japan, exposure positions it well, as these economies recover while the longer-term optionality will be in above-average growth from the emerging markets.