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Weak Dental Business & Soaring Costs Thwart Danaher's Growth

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On Jun 20, we issued an updated research report on premium diversified operations company — Danaher Corporation (DHR - Free Report) . The company currently carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell) and holds a VGM Score  of D.

Rising cost of sales remains a major cause of concern for Danaher. The company’s cost of sales flared up 13.3% and 7.8%, year over year, in 2016 and 2017, respectively.  Notably, the same rose 9.6% in first-quarter 2018. Higher oil prices continue to escalate the company’s utilities and freight expenses. We fear that escalating costs, if unchecked, will weigh over Danaher’s profitability in the upcoming quarters.

Moreover, realignment of certain manufacturer and distributor relationships has given rise to inventory modifications in Danaher’s Dental segment’s distribution channel. This has been hurting this segment’s top line for the past few quarters. The segment’s organic revenues dipped 3% year over year in the first quarter. Danaher stated that apart from the ongoing realignment moves, lackluster traditional consumables and equipment business performance also dampened the segment’s revenues in the quarter. These challenges might continue to dent the Dental segment’s results in the upcoming quarters.

Over the past month, Danaher’s shares have lost nearly 1% compared with the 3% loss recorded by the industry, and 1.4% growth yielded by the benchmark S&P 500 index.

Danaher’s business is overseen by a number of U.S. and non-U.S. governmental and self-regulatory entities, which ensure that the company complies with multiple regulations related to import laws, export control and economic sanctions laws, which restrict its scope. Moreover, investigation and audit for compliance with requirements of government contracts hamper the company’s growth. Also, any change in governmental regulations might reduce demand for the company’s products or services and escalate its expenses.

Stocks to Consider

Some better-ranked stocks in the industry are listed below:

Raven Industries, Inc. (RAVN - Free Report) sports a Zacks Rank of 1 (Strong Buy). The company’s earnings per share (EPS) are predicted to grow 10%, in the next three to five years. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.  

Sumitomo Corp. also flaunts a Zacks Rank #1. The company’s EPS is projected to be up 5.5%, over the next three to five years.

Crane Company (CR - Free Report) holds a Zacks Rank of 2 (Buy). The company’s EPS will likely rise 10.4% during the same time frame.

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