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Harman International Industries Inc./DE/ (HAR), Icahn Enterprises LP (IEP): Strong Consumer Goods Companies for Your Portfolio

The consumer goods sector has been one of the least volatile sectors in 2013. This sector, contrary to popular belief, is not just made up of defensive stocks that represent laid back companies. Many companies in this sector have seen attractive upswings in their prices in recent months. Among these companies, I was particularly interested in exploring Harman International Industries Inc./DE/ (NYSE:HAR)Icahn Enterprises LP (NASDAQ:IEP) and Oshkosh Corporation (NYSE:OSK) further.

Harman International Industries Inc./DE/ (NYSE:HAR)

Harman International Industries Inc./DE/ (NYSE:HAR)‘s leading edge business

Harman International Industries Inc./DE/ (NYSE:HAR) is a well-reputed name when it comes to audio and multimedia hardware. The company produces an array of premium products under the brand names of JBL, AKG, Infinity, etc. The company has penetrated the market for sound systems and studio equipment quite thoroughly. People following the company would know that its quarterly earnings have been slowing down; but that doesn’t means that this trend will continue in the future. This company has enough potential going forward to change the current trend.

Harman International Industries Inc./DE/ (NYSE:HAR) is becoming the standard choice for car audio systems–the company’s record high $20 million backlog of awarded business is a clear testament to this fact. This means that automakers around the world are becoming more and more confident in Harman International Industries Inc./DE/ (NYSE:HAR)’s strategy to address the evolving needs of the public. The company’s strategy is backed by a strong innovation pipeline that has been responsible for some of its earlier breakthroughs.

The company’s financial position is quite stable. It has $434 million in cash on the balance sheet, with only $294 million in debt liabilities. As a matter of fact, the company’s liquidity position allowed it to double its quarterly dividends. The company’s revenue profile shows that up to 38% of its sales come from the heart of automobile manufacturing, Germany. The more I explore this company, the more I am convinced of its ability to grow further.

Great diversity in one package

Icahn Enterprises LP (NASDAQ:IEP) is one of the most diversified companies out there. The company engages in gaming, railcar, automotive, metals, real estate and home fashion businesses. The company also has a strong investment business that provides investment advisory and back office services to other companies. Over the years, Icahn Enterprises LP (NASDAQ:IEP)’s business model has allowed it to invest in growing businesses. I believe this is the reason why the company has grown by an unbelievable 1,003% over the last 13 years–that’s a whopping 20% annualized return for the lucky people who bought the stock way back in 2000.

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