I want to give Dover (NYSE:DOV) management a break and the benefit of the doubt. It's easy to lose count of the number of times it has guided to lower expectations and it's easy to criticize DOV for having a poor handle on its business. On the other hand, "I don't know" are some of the hardest words to say in the English language and I scarcely believe that many on Wall Street would applaud management for admitting to low visibility on the business outlook, let alone criticize it any less than it will for being wrong.
Still, business is not healthy here. Perhaps the company is navigating through the worst of it and the next couple of quarters will see results, bookings, and guidance firm up. Likewise, it's worth noting that in a field full of expensive industrial stocks, 3% to 4% growth over the long term is enough to support Dover's share price today. While I'm not bullish on the company, I think I'm going to start paying more attention with an eye toward whether investor fatigue is creating an opportunity (or whether this collection of businesses really is that bad).
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Dover Still Searching For Traction