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The Best Stock in the District of Columbia: Danaher

We analyzed publicly traded companies based in the nation's capital to identify the best stock in the District of Columbia to buy now.

We scoured the nation to identify the best stock in every state and the District of Columbia. Danaher Corp. (symbol DHR) is the publicly traded company we picked with headquarters in Washington, D.C.

A word of caution: Since we selected a single stock from each state (plus one from D.C), and choices in some states are sparse, a few of our picks are best suited to investors comfortable with a higher degree of risk. This is not necessarily one of our 51 favorite stocks in the entire U.S., in other words.

Danaher by the Numbers

  • Headquarters: Washington, D.C.
  • Share price: $85.96
  • Market value: $59.7 billion
  • Price-earnings ratio: 21
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(Prices and data are as of June 22, 2017)

Even after spinning off a number of units into a new, publicly traded company called Fortive (FTV) last year, Danaher is still an amalgam of a lot of different businesses. The company makes research tools for scientists, diagnostic and treatment tools for medical professionals, and products and services aimed at protecting the planet’s water supply.

Operating under these broad umbrellas, Danaher remains a serial acquirer that looks to scoop up innovative but underperforming companies from which it believes it can wring out extra profits. Value Line analyst Erik Manning says the strategy is “a proven winner over time” and should have earnings nearing $4 a share this year, an 18% bump from last year’s $3.34 per share. Analysts at Credit Suisse say Danaher’s shares are undervalued compared with the shares of the company’s peers and see a growing enthusiasm for Danaher’s diverse portfolio of companies that the analysts believe could propel the stock to $93 over the next 12 months.

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