MIT Technology Review just published its list of the world’s “50 Smartest Companies.”
The list is strictly a reflection of the companies having the biggest market impact through the sheer force of genuine innovation alone.
MIT’s list wasn’t concerned with which companies are 1) growing the fastest, 2) have the highest sales, or 3) tout the best stock performance. The list is solely concerned with which companies are the “smartest.”
And while I never agree with all 50, it’s always an enlightening article, as you can imagine.
But what’s even more interesting is the storyline BEHIND the list…
You see, as part of the economic recovery, there’s a secret revival afoot. One that other analysts and the press aren’t shrewd enough to realize is happening.
An “Accidental” Revelation…
To begin my yearly analysis of MIT’s list, the first thing I did was classify the companies by sector and industry.
No sweat, right?
Well, what I wasn’t expecting to find was the following…
Of the “50 Smartest Companies” in the world, 27 of them could easily be considered manufacturers.
As for the remaining companies on the list? They’re ALL making significant technological breakthroughs to reduce the cost to manufacture goods in the United States.
Do you realize what this means?
Manufacturing is making a big comeback!
I honestly can’t think of any better news to report on an otherwise ho-hum Tuesday.
This secret manufacturing revival bodes extremely well for both America’s economic future and stocks.
Manufacturing is essential for many reasons. According to the U.S. International Trade Commission and the Department of Commerce, manufactured products account for over 80% of the country’s exports.
Likewise, the presence of manufacturing facilities has a tremendous trickledown effect as a jobs multiplier. It’s estimated that there are four to five new jobs created for every ONE manufacturing job.
The emergence of cheap natural gas is factoring into the secret revival, as well.
All new U.S. manufacturing plants are being outfitted to benefit from the low cost of gas, which I expect to lead to the construction of even more plants.
I’m telling you, this is really exciting!
Still don’t believe me?
Well, the top three companies on MIT’s list give us all the proof we need.
World’s Smartest Company #1: Illumina, Inc. (ILMN)
San Diego-based Illumina is the market leader for analyzing DNA. Specifically, it develops, manufactures and markets integrated systems for large-scale genetics analysis.
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Through innovation and strategic acquisitions, the company has vastly reduced the time it takes to crack a living tissue’s genetic code. It’s also ingeniously shrunk the costs involved, too.
Illumina is a profitable company with revenue of $387 million. While the current P/E is a bit high at 69, the market is so immense that I expect earnings to increase even further.
Buy on any dips.
World’s Smartest Company #2: Tesla (TSLA)
Backed by pure innovation, Tesla has overcome a ton of obstacles in order to design, construct and manufacture high-quality, battery-operated automobiles.
Since the metrics say that demand is ramping up, I flew to California to verify it myself. (Spreadsheets will never tell you everything.)
Sure enough, I noticed a fair number of Teslas on the road. More importantly, though, shopping malls with parking spaces equipped with free charging stations are popping up everywhere.
Still, though… in order to sell more cars, Tesla must get its sticker price down to the $30,000 range. Management has a plan to do it, too. But can it execute?
The plan calls for construction of a new Tesla manufacturing facility to produce the all-important battery system for the car. While I’m not convinced this alone makes the stock a “Buy,” I love that it will add 400 to 500 jobs to the economy.
World’s Smartest Company #3: Google (GOOG)
Google keeps pushing to increase revenue beyond the internet’s borders.
Even though it hasn’t been successful yet, the creation of Google Glass and the recent acquisition of Nest Products could change all of that.
I was lucky enough to get my hands on a developmental version of Google Glass, and I’ll concede that it’s really cool.
But under the old adage that “pioneers get slaughtered and settlers prosper,” these glasses aren’t ready to change the world anytime soon. And Google likely won’t be the company to ultimately win this niche of the market.
What about Google’s addition of Nest’s wireless smoke detectors and thermostats?
Well, they’re almost as cool as the glasses. (Even I plan to have them installed in my home. I mean, who doesn’t want to adjust the room temperature from a smartphone, right?)
But Nest’s boost to Google’s revenue is way too small to impact shares of such a behemoth company.
But no worries… in tomorrow’s issue, I’ll reveal my favorite company on MIT’s list of 50. Every portfolio should have at least a few shares! Until then!
Onward and upward,
Founder, Wall Street Daily