The Great Transformation of Ingersoll-Rand

There was a time, not that long ago, when a 395-point drop in the Dow would have done serious damage to Ingersoll-Rand. It was the archetypal cyclical stock dependent on a strong U.S. economy to do well. But key moves by management have changed all that, Cramer said Friday, making IR’s 2.6% dip a great entry point for investors.

For more than a year, Ingersoll-Rand has been selling capital-intensive, cyclical divisions such as Bobcat, IR’s construction equipment business, and switching to a more secular strategy, namely through the acquisition of Trane, a heating-ventilation and air-conditioning company. Now Ingersoll will get more than two-thirds of its revenue from climate control.

The Trane deal has turned IR into a new-tech play that’s plugged into two big global trends: famine and energy conservation. Asia’s 40% food spoilage rate – compared that to North America’s 3% – is a major contributor to the world food crisis. The solution is better refrigeration to keep the food from going bad while it’s being transported, which is exactly Trane's business.

The other big trend is the shift from old, carbon-bellowing commercial heating systems to those that are more energy efficient. For developed countries like the U.S., Cramer said, this is one of the best ways to cut down on harmful emissions. If 80% of all commercial HVAC units in the U.S. are replaced between 2010 and 2020, sales would be three to four times larger than normal demand.

“This is a huge, untold story,” Cramer said. And Ingersoll-Rand’s move into climate control means the company’s in perfect position to profit.

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