Want to Beat the Street? Look for Innovation
The following commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet's guest contributor program, which is separate from the company's news coverage.
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- To understand the importance of innovation, look at two companies, Apple(AAPL) and Eastman Kodak(EK) . Sixteen years ago, Apple was at a low point and Eastman Kodak was at a high point, and now their roles are pretty much reversed. What is the common factor? Innovation, and the lack thereof.
I want to point out that this goes beyond tech companies. Innovation among other, lower tech companies can still lead to superior results, and ultimately, that nectar of the gods, alpha. See below for my listing of boring but innovative companies I have been buying.
Aside from my buy list, these companies also occupy another list: they are among Thomson Reuters' top 100 global innovators for 2011. To make the list, a company's degree of innovation was measured by incidence of success in securing patents, overall volume of patents, degree of influence, and the number of quadrilateral patents, also known as patents for the same invention at foreign patent offices. Almost 75 out of the 100 companies listed enjoyed stock price increases last year, according to Reuters.
Within these companies, I have observed the following common elements:
So, here are the innovative companies I've been buying: