Revealed: The ultimate buy-and-hold stock for your portfolio

ARB Corporation Limited (ASX: ARB) has announced that as of 1 July 2016 Mr Ernest Kulmar will step down as a director of the company after serving exactly 10 years.

There hasn’t been a lot of movement on the ARB Board which reflects well on the company and hence bodes well for continued focus on the company’s expansion into international markets.

In the 10 years to 30 June 2015, ARB has increased sales and net profit at an annual compound rate of 11.3% and 12.1% respectively and I have no doubts that stability at the board and executive levels of the company have contributed to this performance.

Along the way too, shareholders have enjoyed watching their dividends grow from 12 cents per share in 2006-07 to 30.5 cents in 2015-16, a compound annual growth rate of 9.78%, which well and truly trumps wages growth in Australia.

This of course doesn’t include the three special dividends that ARB has paid out in 2004, 2009 and 2014.

Mr Kulmar’s replacement as a non-executive director is Mr Adrian Fitzpatrick who has been a Registered Company Auditor, after recently retiring from Pitcher Partners after 39 years of service.

Here’s hoping that Mr Fitzpatrick slots in to the vacancy created by Mr Kulmar’s resignation and contributes well to the forward-thinking strategic decision making which has been a key reason for ARB’s success as a listed company since its shares floated on the public markets back in 1987.

ARB’s May market update was encouraging and it’s expected that the company’s good performance will continue. Exports are continuing to rise as a proportion of the company’s overall sales, and it looks as though the board and management are hoping to replicate its Australian success in the much larger US market, not to mention Eastern Europe and the Middle East where sales and distribution warehouses have been established in Prague and Dubai respectively.

You’ll have to be patient though. ARB prefers to grow organically with only smaller bolt-on acquisitions being made here and there.

I have a lot of faith in the leadership at ARB and I have no doubt that the board has made a sound decision in appointing Mr Fitzpatrick to help steer the company towards eventually becoming a global brand in SUV and 4WD accessories.

I hope there are a few readers out there that already own the stock and, if you do, my recommendation is to hold your shares tenaciously. For those of you out there that don’t yet own ARB then watch the share price closely and buy on any downturn.

It’s rare for sustained falls in the ARB share price to occur though, and as a result the shares always looks expensive. But is it any wonder?

This company continues to perform. Its growth strategies have been executed brilliantly over time and Mr Kulmar has been a big part of this for which I am very thankful.

Is ARB the ultimate long-term buy-and-hold stock?


No one should buy and hold shares in any company blindly so a decision to continue to hold should be made only after a considered analysis of the company’s profit results in February and August of each year. After almost 28 years as a listed company though, long-term holders have enjoyed more-than-acceptable returns.

Foolish takeaway

There are a handful of companies out there that genuinely deserve to be held for the long term, with CSL Limited (ASX: CSL), REA Group Limited (ASX: REA) and Technology One Limited (ASX: TNE) on this list.

Given the overseas expansion plans ARB has, its commitment to research & development, a pristine balance sheet, products that 4WD enthusiasts absolutely love, and impeccable shareholder friendly and reliable management, you can also add ARB to the list of stocks to be included in your portfolio for the ultra-long term.

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Motley Fool contributor Edward Vesely owns shares of ARB Limited and CSL Ltd. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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