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By Jason Stipp and Jeremy Glaser | 12-30-2014 02:00 PM

5 Wide-Moat Stocks That Were Left Behind in 2014

It was a good year for wide-moat stocks overall, but Exxon, Amazon, and a few others lagged the market, says Morningstar markets editor Jeremy Glaser.

Jason Stipp: I'm Jason Stipp for Morningstar and welcome to The Friday Five.

2014 was a good year for stocks, including wide-moat stocks, but not all wide-moat stocks came along for the ride.

Here with five wide-moat stocks that were left behind is Morningstar markets editor Jeremy Glaser.

Jeremy, thanks for being here.

Jeremy Glaser: Thanks, Jason. Happy New Year.

Stipp: Happy New Year to you, too.

One of the wide-moat names that didn't make it with the winners in 2014 was ExxonMobil. It got caught in the oil downturn.

Glaser: One of the biggest stories in the back half of the year was the decline in oil prices and how quickly the price of crude declined. ExxonMobil got hit by this, as you'd expect, but they were hit a little bit less hard than the energy sector and the oil sector as a whole.

This speaks to the power of its business and the power of having a wide economic moat. Because Exxon is more diversified, because they have the resources to be able to wait out any period of lower oil prices, they are not going to be buffeted in the wind if this turns out to be a relatively short-lived decline in prices. They were able to look a little bit better, and their stock performance is able to look a little bit better.

Generally speaking, this is what you'd hope to get out of a wide-moat business--that it's going to have the kind of heft so that short-term factors are not going to get [the firm] into trouble; they are going to be able to withstand it, and over the long term, they will be able to keep making economic profits.

We think ExxonMobil is still very much in that category of wide-moat businesses that will be able to make lots of profits for shareholders over time, even if we see some dislocations temporarily in the price of oil.

Stipp: Wide-moat Amazon had a tough year; it was off more than 20%. You hear a lot about Amazon's growth and growth potential. So, how do you explain this underperformance?

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