Is Danaher Corporation (DHR) A Great Investment Choice?

ClearBridge Investments, an investment management firm, published its “Sustainability Leaders Strategy” second quarter 2021 investor letter – a copy of which can be downloaded here. The ClearBridge Sustainability Leaders Strategy underperformed its Russell 3000 Index benchmark during the second quarter. On an absolute basis, the Strategy had gains in eight of 10 sectors in which it was invested (out of 11 sectors total). You can take a look at the fund’s top 5 holdings to have an idea about their top bets for 2021.

In the Q2 2021 investor letter of ClearBridge Investments, the fund mentioned Danaher Corporation (NYSE: DHR) and discussed its stance on the firm. Danaher Corporation is a Washington, D.C.-based conglomerate company with a $213 billion market capitalization. DHR delivered a 34.89% return since the beginning of the year, while its 12-month returns are up by 41.01%. The stock closed at $304.44 per share on September 30, 2021.

Here is what ClearBridge Investments has to say about Danaher Corporation in its Q2 2021 investor letter:

“Our differentiated positions in the health care sector also made strong contributions as the market began to reward the heavily discounted sector. Danaher, for example, is seeing customer activity approach pre-pandemic levels and is executing well. In addition to improving health through its life sciences (research tools for biopharmaceutical, food and beverage, medical, aerospace and microelectronics industries) and diagnostics (tools for use in labs and critical care settings) businesses, Danaher offers environmental and applied solutions that keep global food and water supplies safe.”


Based on our calculations, Danaher Corporation (NYSE: DHR) was not able to clinch a spot in our list of the 30 Most Popular Stocks Among Hedge Funds. DHR was in 78 hedge fund portfolios at the end of the first half of 2021, compared to 81  funds in the previous quarter. Danaher Corporation (NYSE: DHR) delivered a 9.88% return in the past 3 months.

Hedge funds’ reputation as shrewd investors has been tarnished in the last decade as their hedged returns couldn’t keep up with the unhedged returns of the market indices. Our research has shown that hedge funds’ small-cap stock picks managed to beat the market by double digits annually between 1999 and 2016, but the margin of outperformance has been declining in recent years. Nevertheless, we were still able to identify in advance a select group of hedge fund holdings that outperformed the S&P 500 ETFs by 115 percentage points since March 2017 (see the details here). We were also able to identify in advance a select group of hedge fund holdings that underperformed the market by 10 percentage points annually between 2006 and 2017. Interestingly the margin of underperformance of these stocks has been increasing in recent years. Investors who are long the market and short these stocks would have returned more than 27% annually between 2015 and 2017. We have been tracking and sharing the list of these stocks since February 2017 in our quarterly newsletter.

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Disclosure: None. This article is originally published at Insider Monkey.