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Why Honeywell International Inc (NYQ:HON) will appeal to moat investors

22nd May by Ben Hobson

There's an exclusive group of companies in the stock market that stand out because they've got what billionaire investor Warren Buffett calls economic moats. Like medieval castles, their profits are fortified by impregnable business models... and there are signs that Honeywell International Inc (NYQ:HON) might be one of them.

Given the present disruption and volatility in the stock market, it is more important than ever to identify high-quality stocks for your portfolio - and finding companies with moats is one way to do it. 

Moats come in different forms, but they mostly consist of:

  • Intangible Assets - Such as brands that customers love, valuable patents or regulatory approvals
  • High switching Costs - It might be too costly, complicated or unnecessary for customers to look elsewhere
  • Network Effects - When customers become part of a product it creates tremendously powerful businesses
  • Cost Advantages - Superior processes and unique locations and assets make it hard for others to compete
  • Great Scale - Large infrastructure and distribution networks are powerful barriers to entry in many industries

Here's a quick guide to finding the clues to economic moats - using {{links.nameAndTicker}}, which is active in the Industrial Conglomerates industry, as an example...

GET MORE DATA-DRIVEN INSIGHTS INTO NYQ:HON »

Honeywell International Inc (NYQ:HON)'s impressive metrics

Some of the biggest indicators of a moat involve persistent strong margins and high levels of cash generation – cash being especially important given the recent shocks to the worldwide economy. Here are a few ways of gauging these characteristics - and how Honeywell International Inc compares:

  1. High rates of Free Cash Flow - the measure of a thriving company.
    - A high ratio of free cash flow to sales can be a very positive sign. For Honeywell International Inc, the figure is an impressive 16.2%. 
  2. High Return on Capital Employed - the measure of a company growing efficiently and profitably.
    - A 5-year average ROCE of more than 12 percent is a pointer to strong efficiency. For Honeywell International Inc, the figure is an eye-catching 18.7%.
  3. High Return on Equity (compared to peers) - the measure of a company making good profits from its assets.
    - Honeywell International Inc has a 5-year average ROE of 29.2%.
  4. High Operating Margins (compared to peers) - the measure of a company with pricing power
    - Honeywell International Inc has a 5-year average operating margin of 17.8%.

Next steps

Some of the best quality stocks in the market have defensible models that can deliver high levels of shareholder returns over the long term. By analysing some key medium-term profitability and efficiency metrics, it's possible to start tracking them down. On this basis, it certainly appears that Honeywell International Inc has some of the financial traits of an economic moat.

To find out more you might want to take a look at the NYQ:HON StockReport from the award-winning research platform, Stockopedia. StockReports contain a goldmine of information in a single page and can help to inform your investment decisions.

To find more stocks like Honeywell International Inc, you'll need to equip yourself with professional-grade data and screening tools. This kind of information has traditionally been closely guarded by professional fund managers. But our team of financial analysts have carefully constructed this screen - Stockopedia’s Moats of the FTSE 350 - which gives you everything you need. So why not come and take a look?

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Honeywell International Inc ( )

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