Market Overview

Enesco and Two Other European Stocks on a Roll (ESV, FWLT, IHG)

The cover story in this week's Barron's offers an outlook for European stocks in 2013. While Europe's sovereign-debt crisis is far from over, doubts about the eurozone's sustainability have been all but put to rest. Some investors think that European stocks could rally up to 20% in the coming year.

See also: Barron's Recap (12/22/12): Betting on Europe in 2013

Below is a quick look at three European stocks that have been on a roll: Enesco (NYSE: ESV), Foster Wheeler (NASDAQ: FWLT) and Intercontinental Hotels (NYSE: IHG). Though their share prices on U.S. exchanges are up more than 36 percent in the past six months, analysts think they still have plenty of upside potential. All three have long-term earnings per share (EPS) growth forecasts of more than 15 percent, as well as returns on equity of more than 10 percent.

Enesco

U.K.-based Enesco, an offshore drilling company, has a market cap of about $13.8 billion and a dividend yield near 2.5 percent. While the price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio is less than the industry average, the long-term EPS growth forecast is more than 27 percent. The return on equity is more than 10 percent and the operating margin is higher than the industry average. Shares sold short represent about three percent the float. The short interest has been dwindling since September.

The consensus recommendation of the 39 polled analysts is to buy shares; 10 of them rate it at Strong Buy. The mean price target represents about 11 percent potential upside and is a level the shares have not seen since 2008.

The share price is more than 35 percent higher than six months ago, though it has faced resistance near $60 since August. But shares are up about three percent in the past week. The stock still has outperformed competitors Diamond Offshore Drillers (NYSE: DO) and Transocean (NYSE: RIG), as well as the broader markets, over the past six months.

Foster Wheeler

This engineering and construction contractor and power generating equipment supplier is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, and sports a market cap of about $2.5 billion. The forward earnings multiple is less than the industry average P/E ratio, and EPS are expected to grow about 20 percent over the next five years. The return on investment is almost 20 percent. The short interest is a little more than one percent of the float. The number of shares sold short has been shrinking since September.

The consensus recommendation of the 18 analysts surveyed is to buy shares; none recommend selling. They believe the stock still has plenty of room for growth, as their mean price target is about 19 percent higher than the current share price. That would be a level the share price has not seen since July 2011.

Shares are up almost 23 percent year to date. But they have faced resistance around $25 since September, despite better-than-expected earnings posted in early November. The stock has outperformed the likes of Jacobs Engineering (NYSE: JEC) and Fluor (NYSE: FLR), as well as the broader markets, over the past six months.

Intercontinental Hotels

This U.K.-based operator of Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza and other hotel and resort chains has a market capitalization of about $7.5 billion. Its return on equity is more than 85 percent, and the operating margin is greater than the industry average. The long-term EPS growth forecast is about 15 percent and the P/E ratio is lower than the industry average. The short interest was much less than one percent of the float at the November 30 settlement date.

Two of the five analysts surveyed by Thomson/First Call who follow the stock recommend buying shares; none recommend selling. Their mean price target, or where the analysts expect the shares to go, is about six percent higher than the current share price. That target would be a new multi-year high for Intercontinental Hotels.

The share price is up more than 50 percent year to date and reached a 52-week high last week. The stock has outperformed competitors such as Marriott International (NYSE: MAR), Starwood Hotels (NYSE: HOT), Wyndham Worldwide (NYSE: WYN) and the broader markets over the past six months.

Posted-In: Diamond Offshore Drillers Enesco fluor foster wheeler InterContinental HotelsLong Ideas Short Ideas Trading Ideas Best of Benzinga

 

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