Eight Stocks with Limited European, Chinese Exposure
As Europe slips deeper into recession and Chinese growth continues to moderate, investors may be clamoring to find stocks that lack exposure to these regions. Companies with a focus on North America likely offer a means to fulfill this criterion.
Economists have been largely unable to explain why North American economies have been able to muddle along year-to-date. Nevertheless, many economists consider this scenario the base case for the next several months.
Below are eight stocks with large North American exposure and limited direct exposure to Europe and China.
1. Rogers Communications (NYSE: RCI): Rogers Communications is a telecommunications company with large exposure to the Canadian economy. With diverse businesses such as mobile phone services, cable, internet, and content broadcasting, Rogers offers investors similar characteristics to American service providers such as AT&T (NYSE: T) and Verizon (NYSE: VZ). However, most of Rogers' revenue is derived in Canada. Resultantly, the company could continue to perform well, so long as Canada's economy remains relatively strong.
2. Boston Beer Company (NYSE: SAM): Boston Beer is America's second-largest craft brewer, responsible for brands such as the Sam Adams line of beers and Twisted Tea alcoholic drinks. In 2011, Boston Beer grew its market share to 1 percent of the American beer market. During this period, the overall beer market declined by approximately 1.3 percent, but the craft brewing industry grew around 15 percent. Boston Beer's recent acquisition of a west coast brewery could enable it to more efficiently distribute in that part of the country. This could spread the firm's reach to the entire U.S.
3. Consolidated Edison (NYSE: ED): Consolidated Edison, known commonly as Con Ed, is the largest utility provider to the New York Metropolitan area. Residents of New York may sometimes get frustrated with the service. However, as an investment, Con Ed many offer its shareholders relative safety. Con Ed has increased its dividend for 38 consecutive years, so the stock could be a good place for investors to hide and collect dividends. Con Ed currently yields around 3.91 percent.
4. Southern Company (NYSE: SO): Southern Company has many similar characteristics to Con Ed. Geographically though, Southern Company is different from the New York utility provider. Southern Company operates, as its name might suggest, in southern states, including Georgia and Alabama. Utilities are generally safe places to hide due to the yield they provide and the consistent nature of their businesses. Over the last few years, southern states such as Alabama have attracted new auto factories. These factories have increased the demand for power and could be a positive for utilities such as Southern.
5. Altria (NYSE: MO): Altria was spun out of Phillip Morris and consists of the old company's U.S. cigarette and tobacco businesses. Phillip Morris International (NYSE: PM) and Kraft (NASDAQ: KFT) were also spun out as separate companies. Altria's only international exposure is its stake in SAB Miller, the world's second-largest brewer. This stake only accounts for marginal amounts of Altria's revenue and income. Akin to the utilities above, Altria is a storied dividend payer. Altria currently yields over 4.5 percent.
6. UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH): With the upholding of the Affordable Care Act by the Supreme Court, some uncertainty has likely been removed from the healthcare sector. Rather than follow the more common model of other insurance companies, whereby they diversify their businesses across different insurance markets, UnitedHealth focuses solely on healthcare coverage. Specifically, UnitedHealth focuses on Pharmacy Benefit Management (PBM) plans. Due to its isolation from other insurance markets, the company might be less impacted by price action in financial markets. Thus, UnitedHealth may be a good play on the growing U.S. health insurance market.
7. Canadian National Railway (NYSE: CNI):Canadian National Railway is a railway that operates in Canada and the United States. The company benefits from Canada's commodity exports to the United States, such as potash. Currently, the company is investing in new railroads. These investments could lead to future revenue growth. Typically, railroad revenues move along with general economic output. For Canadian National, they are likely tied, more specifically, to trade growth between the U.S. and Canada.
8. Comerica Inc. (NYSE: CMA): Comerica is a financial, and thus could be exposed to broad market turbulence. Still, Comerica offers investors diversity due to the firm's geography. With a midwest focus, the manufacturing gains seen since the financial crisis ended in 2009 have boosted employment in the region. As a major part of these manufacturing gains, the rebound of the automotive industry has been notably positive for the regional economy. Continued improvement in the midwestern economy could help Comerica increase earnings and improve its balance sheet, creating shareholder value.
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