Despite being founded more than 100 years ago, here are 3 companies that are still looking far into the future.
With so many high-profile IPOs occurring this year, it’s easy to ignore some of the more established companies on the market at the minute.
Experience is important in this game, however, and though most mature companies won’t net you multi-bagger returns, there are some old dogs out there that are still as relevant as the day they were founded.
1. Coca-Cola Company
More American than apple pie, The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO) was founded in 1886 and is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. The company initially floated on the NYSE in 1919 at $40 a share.
Given its age, it’s unsurprising that Coca-Cola has flirted with innovation over the years with varying degrees of success. Who could forget about the disaster of ‘New Coke’, for example, or that the company purchased Columbia Pictures for $750 million in 1982?
In more recent times, however, Coca-Cola has found itself at odds with the growing trend towards all things healthy and organic. This has prompted the company to move beyond its typical staple of sugary drinks towards other alternatives. Now, the classic Coke stands at the center of a huge, five-hundred-strong portfolio of brands, ranging from vitamin drinks and juices to flavored milk and iced tea.
“We’ve got to experiment,” said CEO James Quincey in an interview with CNN, “we’ve got to try new things.”
At the start of this year, Coca-Cola purchased Costa Coffee for $4.9 billion and immediately positioned themselves as a dominant player in the global coffee industry alongside the likes of Starbucks (NASDAQ: SBUX) and The Kraft Heinz Company (NASDAQ: KHC).
The company has also been given the green-light to start selling its new energy drink, Coca-Cola Energy, globally — despite objections from Monster Beverage (NASDAQ: MNST). This will allow Coca-Cola to use its enviable brand in targeting the lucrative energy drinks market, which is expected to be worth $72 billion by 2024.
Coca-Cola has continued Coke has risen dividends for the past 56 consecutive years, while the company’s share price has risen by 26% over the last five years.
2. Ford Motor Company
Founded in 1903 in Detroit, Michigan, the Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) is the epitome of capitalism in many ways. Indeed, founder Henry Ford was the pioneer of the modern production line, copying a process he had witnessed in the slaughterhouses of Chicago to reduce the time it took to build a car from more than 12 hours to two hours and 30 minutes.
Ford went public in January 1956 and the company went from strength to strength, becoming one of the most recognizable car brands in the world. During the Financial Crisis of 2008, however, Ford reported a $14.6 billion annual loss and came close to bankruptcy.
Despite this, Ford still commands a strong market position in the U.S. According to data compiled by Kelley Blue Book and Business Insider, the Ford F-Series was the number 1 selling the vehicle in the US in 2018, when the company also generated around $160 billion U.S. dollars in revenue. New CEO Jim Hackett has made some big changes at the company too, like scrapping the production of passenger cars in the North American (excluding the Mustang) in favor of the more profitable SUV market.
The company has also made some impressive future-proofing plans, with $11 billion being dedicated to the development of electric and hybrid vehicles and the intention of having a portfolio of 40 electrified vehicles by 2022.
Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) was established in 1876 as a telegraph repair shop in Stockholm, Sweden. Founded by serial inventor Lars Magnus, the company soon went on to produce its own telephone equipment.
With more than 49,000 granted patents, Ericsson has one of the strongest intellectual property rights portfolios in the industry. At the time of incorporation in 1896, Lars Magnus Ericsson’s company had grown into a major enterprise with more than 500 employees and had produced over 100,000 telephones.
Despite the highs and lows of its almost 150-year existence — including its ill-fated cell phone business with Sony — Ericsson has become very future-relevant again in recent times. With networks, digital services and managed services that cover 5G infrastructure, Ericsson is now riding at the top of the new cellular wave.
In particular, network security is where Ericsson holds leadership in an infrastructure battlefield that has attracted the attention of both the President of America and Prime Minister of Britain. In recent months, the U.S. has made clear its deep suspicion that Huawei’s technology would offer the Chinese government the ability to monitor internet traffic on 5G, making it a massive security risk.
Ericsson is one of the companies best-placed to capitalize on Huawei’s misfortunes. The move to 5G networks is not simply a case of turning-up 4G or reconfiguring existing equipment, but will require a massive roll-out of major elements that will cost billions of dollars globally. Ericsson will be one of the companies to benefit massively from this.
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MyWallSt operates a full disclosure policy. MyWallSt staff currently hold long positions in The Coca-Cola Company, Ericsson, and the Ford Motor Company. Read our full disclosure policy here.