No. of Recommendations: 7
It seems like part of the BMW method is to look at a company over the long run and see whether the company is basically -- what? The same company? Doing the same thing?

Thus, T today is not the same T of our 30-year charts. We can hardly expect "it" to revert back to "its" mean when the very "it" we are talking about, and the chart we are looking at, are not the same.

So maybe we should just write off T (and anything like it).

This raises another question for me. HPQ is no longer the company that Hewlett and Packard founded. Is this because of the current disarray we find management in? (Like AVP?) It can't be just because the size and scope and products of the company have changed -- or, if we are going to count all that stuff, then CL, PG, and MMM will fail to be the same company as they once were and so the charts will be irrelevant to them -- which seems absurd to me since these seem like paradigm cases of BMW companies.

MMM has changed -- and its product list has changed -- but is this because they really are the same company, ever responsive to consumer needs? I think so.

If JNJ has changed --or changes significantly in the future -- it might be that it loses its once shiny name as the company that followed its noble Credo. At this very moment it could be the case that the company has lost its way, like a hiker who loses the trail. They could find the trail again and continue as they were -- or they could wind up lost, which would be quite a change from the company that used to follow its own noble Credo, and this would disqualify it as a BMW company.

So maybe MMM keeps its BMW status because, ever-changing as it is, it continues to be the same adaptive company that it always was.

Another company, in changing, becomes something it never was. The old charts don't apply, and neither does the BMW method.

The key seems to be something that cannot be quantified and is difficult to put into words. A company, if it is to qualify as a BMW method company, must not lose its character. And the question whether it has lost its character or not, may be a judgment call on the part of the investor. It takes judgment in order to determine whether a company has lost its character (or still maintains it).

Moreover, it seems necessary to consider extra-company facts in order to judge whether the character of the company has changed. For example, consider the most BMW-like buggy whip manufacturing company just at the time when automobiles were coming into vogue. If the company stayed the same and just went on blindly manufacturing excellent buggy whips for sale at low prices, then they would not have been in the business that they were in before, where they supplied the consumers with useful items at reasonable prices. Perhaps something like this has more recently been the fate of Kodak with respect to the rise of the digital camera.

One task of this board might be to come up with a (short?) list of BMW stocks, and maybe another list of stocks that might look like BMW stocks, but really arent't.

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No. of Recommendations: 22
One task of this board might be to come up with a (short?) list of BMW stocks, and maybe another list of stocks that might look like BMW stocks, but really arent't.

Off the top of my head, here's a smattering of companies that haven't changed—and their customer base hasn't either—in as much as they deliver the same type of product to the same kind of customers who buy them for the same kind of reasons.

Grooming, cleaning, and eating needs doesn't change that much:

— Procter & Gamble
— Colgate Palmolive
— General Mills
— Kimberly Clark
— Smuckers
— McDonald's
— McCormick

…and you've got to buy this stuff somewhere:

— Wal-Mart.

And then there's alcoholic drinks:

— Brown-Forman
— Diageo

…and talking of what's pleasurable and sometimes addictive; chocolate:

— Hershey

People buy cars for the same reasons they always have. But, these are very capital intensive businesses with rampant competition. Niche businesses might be considered to be more stable.

— Harley Davidson
— Genuine Parts

The transportation of goods, especially railroads because they are often the only game in town for large cargos over long distances because trucking by road is usually more expensive.

— Norfolk Southern
— Union Pacific

Utility companies. Not many people are seriously going off the grid yet. Check out this one, it's having a serious share price contraction:

— Excelon

I'm sure there are many others, but these readily come to mind.

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