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Deep Dive: 16 industrial companies that are boosting sales and profitability

Some investors have been jittery about large U.S. industrial companies this year, but we found more than a dozen that have widened their profit margins and increased sales per share.

A screen of the S&P 500 industrial sector produced a list of 16 companies that have put up impressive numbers. That can be a starting point for your own research if you would like to invest in the sector.

The industrial sector’s performance is in the middle of the pack for the S&P 500 Index SPX, +0.98% so far in 2018:

Total returns
S&P 500 sector 2018 through May 8 2017 3 years 5 years 10 years
Consumer Staples -13.4% 13.5% 8% 36% 132%
Real Estate -4.8% 10.8% 14% 32% 80%
Telecommunications -11.9% 0.0% 5% 9% 58%
Materials -4.3% 23.8% 19% 57% 64%
Utilities -4.4% 12.1% 26% 49% 86%
Industrials -2.9% 21.0% 35% 84% 126%
Health Care -2.4% 22.1% 15% 83% 208%
Financials -0.6% 22.2% 46% 94% 59%
Energy 4.0% -1.0% 1% 6% 10%
Information Technology 8.7% 38.8% 74% 158% 259%
Consumer Discretionary 5.8% 23.0% 43% 100% 281%
S&P 500 index 0.6% 21.8% 34% 82% 137%
Source: FactSet

A funny thing happened during and after Caterpillar’s first-quarter earnings conference call April 24.

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