The U.S. stock market is currently sitting at all-time highs, and investors have to keep in mind that this bull market is now nearly nine years old. For about five years now, investors have managed to find myriad reasons to buy their favorite stocks on every major market pullback. Many of those same investors are searching for new ideas for income and profits for the year, or years, ahead.
There are many other markets outside of the United States for investors to consider. One area for more conservative investors seeking gains and income is in the more established companies located in Europe. After all, some of these companies are as large or strong as their American competitors and counterparts. Many investors feel their books are more understandable than stocks in many of the emerging markets. And there are many of these that have U.S. operations and employ many Americans.
Credit Suisse has updated its top 104 stock picks for Europe, and many of these companies have actively traded American depositary shares (ADSs) in New York for U.S. investors. These are the firm’s top picks across all of its covered sectors, and each analyst team has identified its highest-conviction ideas relative to the firm’s coverage universe. These so-called top picks were limited to 20% of the coverage universe on average.
24/7 Wall St. has perused this giant list and selected 10 of the top 104 companies featured by Credit Suisse, and the top criteria among these picks is that each of these companies have actively traded ADSs. For each of these top picks, there is a blurb or a consolidated part taken from the Credit Suisse upside thesis.
We have also included basic trading data on each, but the references made herein are in dollars rather than in euro. A rounding of the projected upside for each name is included as well, with the base case and the firm’s “blue sky” upside (if available), that is if everything goes above and beyond expectations.
One potential added benefit here among European stocks for U.S. investors is that the weakness in the U.S. dollar will add to dollar-based returns ahead if that same dollar weakness persists. Quite simply, a rising foreign currency against the U.S. dollar would imply that an underlying ADS in New York would rise in value even if the underlying stock has no price change on its local markets in Europe. Some of these companies are based in England, so the dollar versus the pound has to be considered rather than the dollar versus the euro.
Investors should also note that Credit Suisse says these should be considered as a starting point for further analysis rather than just taken solely in these calls. Here are 10 of the 104 top picks among the European equities from Credit Suisse.
Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) was one of two top picks among the hardware and semiconductor picks. The firm sees 17% base case upside if its call is right, and Credit Suisse has a blue sky upside of about 37%. Those figures do not include any future dividend payments. Credit Suisse touted three main reasons why Nokia is a top pick with stronger EBIT margins coming in 2018:
- Ongoing cost savings
- Potential stabilization in Networks top-line going into 2018
- Further opportunities to monetize IPR/patents
Vodafone Group PLC (NYSE: VOD) was one of the two top picks in telecommunication services. Credit Suisse sees almost 20% upside in Vodafone, and it said:
Vodafone has rebuilt some competitive advantage in mobile network through Project Spring. As a result it has slowed its loss of market share in Europe. The overall mobile market is also relatively stable, with price erosion offset by rising demand for data (Gigabytes). Vodafone is cutting costs which should create some margin expansion in the coming 12 months to 24 months. An improvement in network has also lowered churn, reducing the need to spend on sales commissions and device subsidies. Vodafone is also likely to continue to take market share in fixed line.
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