By Dividend Monk:
This is the fifth in a series of articles highlighting dividend growth companies that have large and durable economic advantages, or “moats”, that protect their business operations and allow years or decades of strong profitability. When looking for long-term investments, one typically wants to find a business that is performing well not simply because management is on top of their game right now, but rather because the business itself has fundamental and difficult-to-replicate advantages over its competitors. In the previous articles, examples of unrivaled economies of scale, powerful brands, huge patent shields, and high switching costs were provided.
Some companies have natural monopolies over their territories of operation.
This generally takes the form of heavy infrastructure investment into an area, which makes it impossible or nonsensical for a competitor to replicate the same infrastructure in an overlapping way, since poor returns wouldn’t be able to justify the investment.