Cyclicals can post tremendous stock returns--but they usually come in bursts. Because of United Technologies' surging earnings since 1992, the tremendous returns have predominated lately. United Technologies' shares more than tripled in value between 1994 and 1999, and they beat the S&P 500 index in three of five years during that time. Within the transportation-equipment industry, too, United Technologies' stock has excelled, ranking in the industry's top quintile for the trailing one-, three-, and five-year periods ended December 31, 1999.
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