Sometimes you get a feeling, even as the futures look ugly as all get out and China's slowing and Europe's getting hit, that things in the real economy are really starting to hum around the globe and you can't get sidetracked by the errant comments of BHP (BHP) or the mixed results from Oracle (ORCL) or a soggy overnight PMI number out of China.
That's how I felt after listening to Jabil (JBL) last night, a remarkable multibillion contracts assembling company that's kind of like a good Foxconn, with tremendous workers and fabulous assemblers and engineers that can seemingly build anything and that's exactly what they are doing.
I remember the days when you bought Jabil if you thought there were a lot of personal computers being ordered. Then you bought it if Cisco (CSCO) was getting a lot of business and therefore needed a lot of assembly.
Later it was Research in Motion (RIMM) that was the driving force.
Now when you hear those names you think "do I really want to be levered to those companies?"
Guess what? Jabil didn't want to be on the hook to just them either. That's what's so amazing about the company now that Tim Main's took the helm. He's not only diversified away from key tech clients that could swing their business around, he's gotten into energy and healthcare in major ways, helping build fuel-efficient engines and implantable medical devices. It's like "you give us the blue prints we will make it no matter what."
That's why I didn't care RIMM's still a top ten client. The pastiche is so going Jabil's way.
I will go a step further and say that if Jabil has a problem with tech it's that Apple (AAPL) could become too big -- it has tablet work -- and if that's the case it can be fickle like Cisco is and pull business whenever it is unhappy or feeling capricious.
But again, the business away from tech is strong and getting stronger and is also deliciously countercyclical to the rest of the operation.
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