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Danaher (DHR) Displays Bright Prospects, Headwinds Remain

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On Nov 26, we issued an updated research report on Danaher Corporation (DHR - Free Report) .

In the past six months, this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock has yielded 0.3% return against the industry’s decline of 12.3%.


Existing Scenario

Danaher believes sturdier demand for innovative products is likely to continue driving its revenues in the quarters ahead. In this regard, elevated demand for the company’s popular product lines — including DxH 520 analyzer, DxA 5000, GeneXpert Edge and PELORIS III Tissue Processing System — will likely to continue bolstering its segmental sales. Danaher currently anticipates securing organic revenue growth of 4% in the fourth quarter of 2018.

Further, solid core revenue growth and benefits from effective implementation of the Danaher Business System ("DBS"), as well as improved operating income, are likely to boost the company’s profitability, going forward. Moreover, Danaher is steadily boosting its competency on the back of meaningful inorganic moves. For instance, Integrated DNA Technologies, since acquired in April 2018, has been strengthening the company's Life Sciences segment.

Moreover, the company is improving its free cash flow, supported by greater operational efficacy, especially in Life sciences and Diagnostics platforms. Solid free cash flow generation will help it effectively carry out its capital-deployment programs.

However, rising cost of sales has been a major cause of concern for the company. In the last three years (2015-2017), its cost of sales increased 6.9% (CAGR). In addition, Danaher's selling, general and administrative expenses, as well as research and development expenses, have increased 5.7% year over year. Escalating costs (induced by tariffs and other factors), if unchecked, will continue to hurt the company's margins in the quarters ahead.

Further, headwinds like extensive governmental regulations on import laws, export control, economic sanctions laws and unfavorable movements in foreign currencies might dent near-term results of the company.

Key Picks

Some better-ranked stocks in the industry are Federal Signal Corporation (FSS - Free Report) , Crane Company (CR - Free Report) and ITT Inc. (ITT - Free Report) . All these companies currently carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Federal Signal surpassed estimates in each of the trailing four quarters, the average positive earnings surprise being 21.18%.

Crane outpaced estimates in each of the preceding four quarters, the average positive earnings surprise being 5.04%.

ITT surpassed estimates in each of the preceding four quarters, the average positive earnings surprise being 5.72%.

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