Three Stocks for Those Fed Up With the U.S. Economy


The U.S. economy is going all to hell again, leaving every investor to agonize over whether this particular downturn will last a month or a year or into his own unfunded retirement. If history repeats, this will become an all-consuming market debate in which a steady stream of economic indicators gives fuel for just about every possible answer. It's exhausting for anyone with money on the line.

Really, we could use a break. There are companies operating in parts of the world that don't pay so much attention to U.S. manufacturing output or our weekly jobless figures. Companies that do most of their business in China, Brazil, Japan, Taiwan, India -- places where the economies are growing and sovereign debt isn't causing panic right now -- are open to investors on the U.S. exchanges.

YCharts sifted through some of these foreign companies for standouts on revenue growth and strong fundamentals. We picked three worth considering, whose share prices seem reasonable for today's buyers.

Of course, all of these companies have some exposure to the U.S. economy. (They'd go somewhere else to trade shares if they didn't). But at least their SEC filings are not consumed by caveats about "the sluggish U.S. recovery," "the uncertain U.S. housing market," and other doom we get enough of in the news here.

Companhia De Bebidas Das Americas Ambev (NYS: ABV) is the biggest drink company in Brazil, selling both beer and soft drinks (like Pepsi). Anhauser-Busch InBev (NYS: BUD) , the world's largest brewer, is one of its biggest shareholders.

Ambev had about $14.4 billion in revenue last year, which is more than double what it was five years ago. Sales are up nearly 18% in the past 12-month period along. Earnings have done even better in the last couple of years, and the company's dividend now is yielding a very nice 4.8%.


Ambev-Companhia de Bebidas das Americas Earnings per Share (TTM) Stock Chart by YCharts

Brazil has its own economic problems that affect Ambev, like inflation and a currency that has trouble holding value. But this company has made its way through worse.

Banco Santander-Chile (NYS: SAN) likes to brag that it has the best credit rating of all Latin American companies. It has more equity and loans than any other bank in Chile. Spain-based Banco Santander controls about three-quarters of the Chilean company's shares and is probably grateful for the diversion from Greek debt.

In quarterly results released this week, Santander-Chile reported a 19.5% year-over-year gain in loans and a nearly five percent gain in deposits. These kinds of results are rather unheard of among banks in this country. Consider the 18-month revenue trend against some U.S. banks.


Banco Santander-Chile Revenues Stock Chart by YCharts

The Chilean bank's dividend yield now is about 2.3%.

If China's economy keeps growing -- and no one thinks it won't -- Guangshen Railway (NYS: GSH) should grow with it. The population relies on it to bring them into the country's new boom towns, so Guangshen Railway's earnings and revenues have gone up lately.


Guangshen Railway Company Revenues (TTM) Stock Chart by YCharts

The company also ships a substantial amount of freight like coal, and demand for this should rise as more of China's rural communities join in the modern age. The company's share price gets jerked around with the ups and downs of U.S. sentiment on China, but its 3.2% dividend yield makes that inconvenience a little more palatable. With shares trading at a P/E barely above 11, the price has plenty of room to rise on its revenue growth long-term. The, um, accounting scandals that have plagued some Chinese stocks are a legitimate concern. One just hopes such foolishness wouldn't be permitted at a company so essential to China's growth.

Dee Gill is an editor for the YCharts Pro Investor Service which includes professional stock charts, stock ratings and portfolio strategies.

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Originally published