Three Top-Performing Stocks in a Dreary Industry

Hey, let’s all get excited about industrial suppliers – the business of playing middleman between manufacturers and end-of-the-line customers and stocking zillions of little whatchamacallit’s.

YCharts has in the recent past showcased two rocket-like stocks in this sector, the dividend growth champ W.W. Grainger (GWW) and the quarter-century-market beater Fastenal (FAST).

Let’s throw into the mix Wesco International (WCC), and regardless of which of the three stocks you’d have chosen a decade ago, you’d have at a minimum a 481% gain vs. 81% for the S&P 500. Wesco was recently featured in Barron’s 500 America’s Best Companies as No. 2. The list aims to find companies that invest wisely and effectively for growth.

WCC Chart

WCC data by YCharts

Despite being shined up in Barron’s, Wesco remains the cheaper of the three stocks, based on PE ratio.

WCC PE Ratio TTM Chart

WCC PE Ratio TTM data by YCharts

And that isn’t because it’s a slacker on growth. The industry is consolidating and acquisitions are part of the growth strategy.

WCC Revenue TTM Chart

WCC Revenue TTM data by YCharts

Wesco has a thinner profit margin than the other two. Wesco has nonetheless outpaced Grainger and Fastenal in EPS growth over the decade.

WCC EPS Diluted TTM Chart

WCC EPS Diluted TTM data by YCharts

Jeff Bailey, The Editor of YCharts, is a former reporter, editor and columnist at the Wall Street Journal and New York Times. He can be reached at



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