If the St. Patrick’s Day observances have investors pondering opportunities in the Emerald Isle, there are a few things to know. First, Ireland has been known for some time for its low corporate tax rate, which even prompted some U.S. companies to move their headquarters there. That was often accomplished by means of a so-called tax inversion, in which a merger or acquisition allows the company to claim the headquarters of the Irish (or other foreign) partner as its own. That worked for Medtronic and Johnson Controls, but Pfizer was blocked from making such a move.
It’s also worth remembering that during the European debt crisis, Ireland was one of the so-called PIIGS; that is, the economies of Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain, or the EU member states that were unable to refinance their government debt or to bail out crippled banks on their own during the crisis that started in 2008. But the debt problems of those countries have lightened in recent years, and investor sentiment toward them has improved.
With that in mind, here are 10 top Ireland-based public companies with shares that are traded in the United States that may be worth putting on a watch list.
Accenture PLC (NYSE: ACN) is a Dublin-based IT and outsourcing services provider with a market cap of more than $99 billion. Investors receive a 1.6% dividend. The share price is up more than 4% so far this year to $160.89. It has a 52-week trading range of $114.82 to $165.58. Pivotal Research has a Buy rating on the shares and just set a $180 price target.
Adient PLC (NYSE: ADNT) is a Dublin-based maker of seats and other automotive components. It has a market cap of more than $5 billion, and investors receive a 1.8% dividend. But shares have pulled back more than 24% so far this year to $59.76. They have a 52-week range of $57.47 to $86.42. Susquehanna has a Hold rating and a $60 price target.
Eaton Corp. PLC (NYSE: ETN) is a Dublin-based power management company, and it has a market cap of more than $35 billion. Shareholders receive a 3.3% dividend. The share price is almost 3% higher than at than beginning of the year. The stock closed most recently at $80.98, in a 52-week range of $69.82 to $89.85. Bank of America and JPMorgan each recently upgraded the stock to Neutral. The latter has an $82 target price for the shares.
Horizon Pharma PLC (NASDAQ: HZNP) is a Dublin-based biopharmaceutical company with a market cap of more than $2 billion. It shares are down fractionally year to date, closing most recently at $14.94. The 52-week range is $9.45 to $16.02. Cantor Fitzgerald just reiterated a Buy rating and has a $17 price target.
Ingersoll-Rand PLC (NYSE: IR) is an industrial products maker with a market cap of more than $22 billion. Shareholders receive a 2.0% dividend. The stock is up fractionally so far this year to $89.48 per share. The 52-week range is $77.26 to $97.67. The consensus analyst price target is $108.36.
Johnson Controls International PLC (NYSE: JCI) has a market cap of about $34 billion. The conglomerate is headquartered in Cork, and its dividend yield is 2.8%. Its shares are down about 4% so far this year to $36.70. The 52-week range is $34.51 to $44.37. The consensus price target is $42.79.
Medtronic PLC (NYSE: MDT) has a market cap of around $110 billion. It is a Dublin-based medical device maker that offers a dividend yield of 2.2%. Shares are down about 1% year to date to $81.29, in a 52-week range of $76.51 to $89.72. The consensus price target is $91.40.
Perrigo Co. PLC (NYSE: PRGO) is a Dublin-based health care company. Its market cap is almost $12 billion, and investors receive a 0.9% dividend. Shares were last seen at $84.23, which is about 6% lower year to date. They have a 52-week range of $63.68 to $95.93. Oppenheimer recently set a price target of $98, while Canaccord Genuity has a $105 target. Both firms rate the shares at Buy.
Seagate Technology PLC (NASDAQ: STX) is a Dublin-based data storage products maker with a market cap more than $17 billion. Its investors receive a 4.2% dividend. Shares are up a whopping 40% so far this year to $60.09, in a 52-week range of $30.60 to $61.19. Citigroup recently boosted its target price from $56 to $60.
Shire PLC (NASDAQ: SHPG) is a Dublin-based biopharmaceutical company with a market cap of more than $40 billion. Investors receive a 0.8% dividend. Shares are down about 16% so far this year to $133.45. They have traded between $123.73 and $192.15 in the past year. Cantor Fitzgerald now has a Buy rating with a $222 price target.
In addition, for investors looking for some diversification or a way to play some stocks traded in Ireland, there is one main Ireland-focused exchange traded fund: the iShares MSCI Ireland ETF (NYSEARCA: EIRL). It is currently more than 3% lower than at the beginning of the year.
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