The Motley Fool Names Middleby a "Stock We're Never Selling"

In a stock market where it seems like people hold on to stocks for hours, or maybe days, holding a stock forever is almost a foreign concept. But the best investors know that the longer your time frame, the better chances you have for investing success.

A "never sell" company had better serve a permanent need, and Middleby (NASDAQ: MIDD) has that in spades: People gotta eat. Chances are, you've eaten something prepared in or on a piece of Middleby equipment in the past week.

The company makes commercial equipment for restaurants and food-service companies, and it recently expanded into the high-end home kitchen with the acquisition of the Viking brand. CEO Selim Bassoul has been at the reins for more than a decade and has done a remarkable job leading the company.

Under Bassoul's tenure, Middleby has made dozens of acquisitions, but he has kept the focus on the company's core business, not diversifying outside of what it is best at: high-end, commercial-grade equipment for kitchens and food-service companies. Bassoul "eats his own cooking," as well, holding 1.4% -- about $80 million -- of Middleby's stock.

Looking ahead, the company is focused on the "kitchen of the future," where automation and technology will play an increasingly important role. If Middleby can be a leader in this transition -- which is very likely -- then its current level of dominance will continue. Solid leadership with a significant personal stake, an industry leader, and a huge long-term need for its products: Middleby has "never sell" written all over it.

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