Course 408: Cyclical Stocks
Is the Long-Term Trend in Sales and Profits Upward?
In this course
1 Introduction
2 How Is the Company Doing Now?
3 How Wildly Do Sales and Profits Fluctuate?
4 How Leveraged Is the Balance Sheet?
5 Does the Company Consistently Generate Positive Cash Flow?
6 How Steady Are the Company's Dividends over a Cycle?
7 Is the Firm Diversified Geographically and by Product Line?
8 Is the Long-Term Trend in Sales and Profits Upward?
9 How Has the Stock Performed?
10 How Expensive Is It?
11 How Expensive Is the Company Based on Normalized Earnings?
12 How Does the Price/Sales Ratio Compare with Historical Levels?
13 Conclusion: Get 'Em while They're Cold

The final step in the analysis of United Technologies' corporate performance is the most important. We need to look beneath the cyclical veneer of the company and determine whether United Technologies is a good long-term performer or if it is one of those ugly cyclicals that takes one step backward for every step forward. Despite its dramatic ups and downs, United Technologies has put together a pretty good long-term record. The company's sales and profits at one cyclical peak are consistently higher than their levels at the previous cyclical peak. In the late 1980s, for example, United Technologies' annual sales were about $20 billion, and its earnings peaked at $750 million. By 1995, its third year in the black after the last recession, the company regained those levels, and it continued to roar ahead in the following years. United Technologies earned twice as much in 1999 as it did during its previous cyclical peak.

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