Market Overview

Barclays, Telefonica and Other European Stocks Favored by Analysts

There is no question that economic conditions are rough in Europe, where a number of countries have fallen back into recession. American companies with exposure in Europe are seeing the effects on their bottom lines, but there are always silver linings. Judging by the consensus Strong Buy recommendations, analysts have confidence in the stocks of Aegean Marine Petroleum Network (NYSE: ANW), Barclays (NYSE: BCS), Interxion Holding (NYSE: INXN), Lloyds Banking Group (NYSE: LYG), Prudential (NYSE: PUK) and WPP (NASDAQ: WPPGY).

Aegean Marine Petroleum Network

All five of the analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call that follow this Athens-based marine fuel logistics company recommend buying shares. The mean price target, where analysts expect the share price to go, is more than 21 percent higher than the current share price as well as higher than the 52-week high. Shares are already up more than 71 percent year to date, including more than 24 percent in the past month. Aegean Marine has outperformed much larger competitor BP (NYSE: BP) over the past six months and it has a dividend yield of about 0.6 percent.

Barclays

Just three analysts were surveyed about this London-based money center, but all of them recommended buying the stock. The mean price target is more than 46 percent higher than the current share price, meaning analysts believe this one has plenty of room to run. Though the stock has surged about 29 percent in the past month, it has still underperformed the broader markets over the past six months as well as competitors such as Royal Bank of Scotland (NYSE: RBS) and Deutsche Bank (NYSE: DB). It does have a dividend yield of more than 2 percent.

See also: Manchester United Scores $233 Million in IPO

Interxion

This Dutch data center operator helps customers to connect to telecommunications carriers, Internet service providers and other customers. All 12 of the analysts surveyed rate the stock at Buy or Strong Buy. The share price is more than 43 percent higher than at the beginning of the year, and currently about 5 percent shy of the multiyear high. Over the past six months, the stock has easily outperformed the broader markets, but has underperformed competitor Equinix (NASDAQ: EQIX). Neither Interxion or Equinix offer a dividend.

Prudential

This financial services company is unrelated to the U.S.-based life insurance provider Prudential Financial (NYSE: PRU). Of the 22 analysts polled, 18 of them recommend buying shares of this London-based company. The mean price target is more than 18 percent higher than the current share price. The stock has risen about 18 percent in the past 90 days and is now more than 32 percent higher year to date. Over the past six months, Prudential has outperformed the broader markets but underperformed competitor AIG (NYSE: AIG). The dividend yield is more than 4 percent.

See also: As Europe ETFs Rebound, Nordic Plays Flex Their Muscles

Telefonica

This Madrid-based telecom has a mean price target that is about 35 percent higher than the current share price, and a bit above the 52-week high. Despite a more than 18 percent rise in the share price in the past month, the stock is still down more than 17 percent year to date. It has underperformed competitor Vodafone (NASDAQ: VOD) over the past six months, and the company recently suspended its dividend. Only two analysts were polled by Thomson First Call, yet both of them strongly recommend buying shares of Telefonica.

WPP

Analysts on average recommend buy shares of this marketing, advertising and public relations agency. Based in London, the communications company is a dividend payer as well, and it has a strategy of expansion through acquisitions. Its shares are more than 27 percent higher year to date, including about a 9 percent pop in the past month, and trading near the 52-week high. The stock has outperformed the likes of Interpublic Group (NYSE: IPG) and Omnicom Group (NYSE: OMC), as well as the broader markets, since the beginning of the year.

See also: Looking for Dividend Hikes from GE, Microsoft, McDonald's

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