Markets & Finance

Consider Consistent Companies


By Michael Kaye, CFA One theme we try to emphasize in this column is consistency -- the ability of a company to achieve solid performance over the long term. While past performance is no guarantee of future results, it can be useful to examine corporations' track records to get an indication of the overall direction of their business.

Performance can be measured in many different ways. This week, we thought we'd try to find a list of names with favorable long-term track records in three key measures of the health of a business:

Return on equity percentage

Earnings per share

Net profit margins

Our requirements were fairly simple. We looked in our database for those issues that have seen growth in those metrics in each of the last five years. When we ran the numbers, these 14 names emerged:

Built for the Long Haul?

Company

Ticker

Anheuser Busch

BUD

Career Education

CECO

Coventry Health Care

CVH

Foot Locker

FL

Fred's Inc

FRED

Griffon Corp.

GFF

Logitech International

LOGI

Monro Muffler Brake

MNRO

NVR Inc.

NVR

Quality Systems

QSII

Rollins Inc.

ROL

Ryland Group

RYL

Sysco Corp.

SYY

Toro Co.

TTC

Kaye is an analyst for Standard & Poor's Portfolio Advisors


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