Year-end control indexes outperform most others

Year-end stock indexes for 2000 tell quite a story—a good one for the controls industry. The overall indexes peaked, or were near their peak, at the beginning of the year, and then generally fell through 3Q00—except for the Control Engineering (CE) Index, which reached a new pinnacle at the end of 2000.

By George J. Blickley, Contributing Editor February 1, 2001

Year-end stock indexes for 2000 tell quite a story-a good one for the controls industry. The overall indexes peaked, or were near their peak, at the beginning of the year, and then generally fell through 3Q00-except for the Control Engineering (CE) Index, which reached a new pinnacle at the end of 2000.

During 4Q00, the other indexes declined, but the CE Index increased more than 12%. NASDAQ Composite in particular dropped about 33% in 4Q00 and 39% for the year, which analysts attribute to poor performances by technology stocks. The implosion of many ‘dot com’ firms during 2000 is one major reason for the weakening of the technology market.

Control and automation devices are increasingly computer-based, so it might seem logical for them to be identified with the overall technology market. Computers provided by many technology market index companies are used primarily for personal computing, accounting, and games. Control-based computers aren’t toys and often provide data to accounting departments, so it’s no surprise that the controls sector would have a longer, healthier performance than other computer-related industries.

Nonetheless, a note of caution remains because of a dip in the CE Earnings Per Share Index. Decreased earnings in 4Q00 affected almost all industries, and led to some predictions of less growth in 2001. Still, the CE Market Value Index shows that control and automation is a robust industry. From a dip in 2Q00, this indicator rose steadily through 4Q00, which is a good gauge of investors’ confidence in the control industry.

Control Engineering Stock Index

Stock prices ($) at close 9/301/00 ($) close 12/29/00 % chg. in 4Q00 52-wk high Annual div yield Price/earn ratio 12-mo. EPS ($)
Ametek Inc. 25.94 22.4 26.94 0.77 13 2.04
21.19
Badger Meter Inc. 23.00 -16.8 37.38 3.91 10 2.32
27.63
Danaher Corp. 68.38 37.4 69.81 0.15 32 2.14
49.75
Eaton Corp. 64.75 5.1 86.56 2.78 8 8.03
61.63
Emerson Electric Co. 78.81 17.6 79.75 1.9 24 3.22
67.00
Flowserve 21.38 30.0 21.94 0 NC 0.04
16.44
Honeywell Inc. 47.31 32.8 64.00 1.69 27 1.74
35.63
K-Tron International 18.38 8.5 18.75 0 8 2.44
16.94
National Instruments 48.56 10 59.50 0 48 1.02
44.13
Rockwell International 47.63 57.1 54.50 2.1 14 3.35
30.31
Transmation Inc. 1.00 -63.6 4.00 0 NC -0.56
2.75
Tyco International Ltd. 55.50 7.0 59.19 0.18 21 2.64
51.88
EPS = earnings per share
Yield = % based on closing price
Div. = dividend
Source: Control Engineering with data from Cnet Investor (Boulder, Colo., www.investor.cnet.com , 303/938-1877)