I've been in meetings all morning at an investor conference in Boston, but just took the opportunity to talk a walk around Boston Harbor. They just finished re-enacting the Tea Party for the masses of tourists looking for some historical framework around our nation's rich history.
I have been going to this Rust Belt conference, here in Boston, for the better part of my adult life. It is also nice to spend the day talking with old friends and making new ones as we navigate through our careers and watch companies grow, make mistakes, add value, and subtract value.
I relish with amazement how some of these companies have grown over a decade or more. Wabco Holdings (WBC) is one of these high-quality companies. The CEO, Jacques Esculier, walks the conference room like a class act, shaking every investor's hand and introducing himself. Yet he needs no introduction. He has been at the helm since 2004 and has built an amazing technology company focused on braking, monitoring and control systems for commercial vehicles and fleets. The stock, which was $40 a share five years ago, sits at more than $107 today.
There is also plenty of growth runway for the company. Content per vehicle available to Wabco sits at $3,200 per unit in Europe, ahead of all other major regions of the world. The United States is behind at $1,500, Brazil at $1,000 and $500 in both China and India. As the world catches up with stringent regulations driving safety, efficiency and connectivity, Wabco stands to benefit.
The company's balance sheet remains cash-neutral (i.e., cash = debt) and it has ample dry powder to acquire select control and connectivity technologies to continually expand an already-diverse product portfolio.
Wabco expects to outpace the global truck, bus and off-road industry by more than 8% as a result of this cumulative and long-term trend. Keep an eye on Wabco.