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Accenture, Covidien, Seagate and Other St. Patrick's Stock Picks

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St. Patrick's Day is almost upon us. So here is a quick look at how the stocks of some companies headquartered in Ireland are faring, given the uncertain economic situation in Europe.

Accenture's (NYSE: ACN) share price is up more than 17% year to date, including a 9% surge in the past month. The Dublin-based global management consulting and business services company will be part of the S&P 100 as of March 16, and its market cap is $44.3 billion. It has an operating margin higher than the industry average and a return on equity of 71.5%. Its dividend yield is 2.2%. The stock has outperformed the S&P 500 and the Dow since the beginning of the year.

See also: Accenture Remains a Top IT Pick for Morgan Stanley

Cooper Industries (NYSE: CBE) rose more than 7% in the past week and is now less than 6% below its 52-week high. This maker of electrical components and tools recently raised its dividend 7% and announced the acquisition of Fifth Light Technology. Its return on equity of 18.9% and the long-range EPS growth forecast is 13.8%. Its market cap is $10.1 billion. The stock has outperformed the likes of ABB (NYSE: ABB) and General Electric (NYSE: GE) over the past six months.

Covidien's (NYSE: COV) share price rose almost 5% in the past week to more than 20% higher than at the beginning of the year. The Dublin-based global health care products company recently announced plans for four new R&D facilities. Covidien has a market cap of $26.1 billion and a dividend yield of 1.7%. Its return on equity is 19.9%. Over the past six months, the stock has outperformed competitors Becton, Dickson (NYSE: BDX) and Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ).

See also: Should Investors Consider the Lone Irish ETF?

CRH's (NYSE: CRH) share price has risen more than 47% in the past six months, including a 7% increase in the past week. The construction materials producer also operates more than 700 stores throughout Europe. The Dublin-based company has a market cap is $15.4 billion. Its long-range EPS growth forecast is 20.4% and the P/E ratio is less than the industry average. Over the past six months, the stock has outperformed the broader markets.

Ingersoll-Rand (NYSE: IR) shares have rebounded from a recent pullback and are trading about 33% higher year to date. The Dublin-based company makes everything from Schlage locks to Trane air conditioners, and it posted better-than-expected earnings for the fourth quarter. It has a market cap of $12.0 billion and its dividend yield is 1.6%. Over the past six months, the stock has outperformed competitors such as Dover (NYSE: DOV) and Gardner Denver (NYSE: GDI).

See also: Ingersoll Rand Reaffirms 2012 Revenues

Ryanair Holdings (NASDAQ: RYAAY) is up more than 22% since the beginning of the year and has been trading near its 52-week high for the past month. The Dublin-based carrier posted better-than-expected revenues and EPS in the most recent quarter. The market cap is $9.9 billion, the long-term EPS growth forecast is 14.7% and the return on equity is 19.8%. Over the past six months, the stock has outperformed JetBlue (NASDAQ: JBLU) and Southwest (NYSE: LUV).

Seagate Technology (NASDAQ: STX) is trading almost 69% higher than at the beginning of the year. Shares surged at the end of January when the hard drive maker said that its fiscal second-quarter net income more than tripled from a year earlier. The $12.3 billion market cap Dublin-based company has a dividend yield of 3.7%, and its return on equity is 29.3%. The stock has outperformed NetApp (NASDAQ: NTAP) and Western Digital (NYSE: WDC) over the past six months.

See also: Seagate, PF Chang's and Other Top Nasdaq Stocks in February

ACTION ITEMS:

Bullish: Investors also may want to consider the following trades:

  • iShares MSCI Ireland Capped Investible Market Index (NYSE: EIRL) is about 18% higher year to date.
  • iShares MSCI EMU Index (NYSE: EZU) is more than 13% higher year to date.
  • iShares S&P Europe 350 Index (NYSE: IEV) is about 11% higher year to date.
Bearish:

Traders may prefer to consider these alternative positions:

  • Direxion Daily India Bull 3X Shares (NYSE: INDL) is up more than 70% year to date.
  • ProShares Ultra MSCI Brazil (NYSE: UBR) is up more than 37% year to date.
  • ProShares Ultra FTSE China 25 (NYSE: XPP) is up almost 22% year to date.
Neither Benzinga nor its staff recommend that you buy, sell, or hold any security. We do not offer investment advice, personalized or otherwise. Benzinga recommends that you conduct your own due diligence and consult a certified financial professional for personalized advice about your financial situation.
 

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