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Stock Strategist

Industrials That Have Beaten the Odds

These firms have dug wide economic moats.

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Securing an economic moat--much less a wide moat--in the industrial world is a challenge for the average firm. Cyclical end markets, asset-intensive manufacturing operations, and commodity products are pretty much what Mr. Buffett was advising against when he first formulated his theory of moats. With this in mind, it's a hardly a surprise that the dozen stock analysts who cover industrials for Morningstar have the least amount of wide- and narrow-moat stocks among any of our broad coverage sectors. Still, a number of firms have developed sustainable competitive advantages that allowed them to separate themselves from the pack and earn our wide moat rating.

As it stands, 13 companies have earned wide moats in our industrial coverage list. Below we break them down into three general categories and give you the general themes that these companies built their moats upon.

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Scott Burns does not own shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.