Thermo Fisher Scientific (NYSE:TMO) provides analytical instruments, equipment, reagents and consumables, as well as software and services for research, analysis, discovery and diagnostics across most of the globe. Thermo is well-diversified by both product and end market, boasting strong defensible market positions and reputable brands. Roughly three quarters of the company’s revenues are recurring in nature (consumables and services), consistent with our preference for subscription-like cash flow streams. Its portfolio of businesses is characterized by stable pricing, relatively acyclical organic growth and consistent excess cash generation. We believe the life sciences tools and diagnostics industry is a “good neighborhood,” characterized by relatively high entry barriers, high customer switching costs and rational competitive behavior. Currency headwinds and investor rotation toward more cyclically- exposed areas of the industrial and healthcare sectors left Thermo’s stock largely unchanged the past 18 months while our estimate of business value grew nicely. We took advantage, initiating a position at, what we believe is, an attractive valuation.
- From Weitz Investment Management's Value Fund 4th quarter 2016 commentary. Continue Reading »