Blue Chip Winners Around the World
05/21/2007 12:00 am EST
Jim Jubak, senior market columnist for MSN Money, cited several top foreign blue chips US investors can buy during his presentation at last week’s Las Vegas Money Show.
US investors tend to forget the rest of the world when we build our portfolios. [But in the future] it will be harder and harder to get as good returns as you could get if you forget the rest of the world.
The reason to own a piece of Schlumberger (NYSE: SLB) is that technology is more and more important in finding oil. SLB is the best seismic data oil exploration company in the world. The big multinational oil companies have access to only 10% of the world’s known oil; the rest belongs to national oil companies that need the technology but don’t want the company that comes with it. They’re happy to have somebody come in and develop an oilfield, but they don’t want to [share profits] with BP or Exxon. SLB is the ideal partner in these situations because it just wants to sell its stuff, deliver its technology for a fee, and that’s it, and that makes the national oil companies very happy.
This stock is a play on a very long-term trend, and as oil gets scarcer or harder to find, SLB makes more money. (SLB closed at $79.40 Friday, just shy of its 52-week high—Editor.)
LAN Airlines (NYSE: LDL) is a Chilean airline, a very fast-growing passenger business, but I really like them because of their freight business. LAN [has] basically decided its market is Latin America, and [because of] the trade between Latin America and the US it has become a tremendous player in the airfreight business. Margins are going up in both its passenger and airfreight business, it’s a well-run airline, [there’s] very little country risk, and given how fast they’re growing, 18x earnings is not too terrible, though it’s more than I’d pay for an American airline. (LAN closed at $82.56 Friday, slightly below its 52-week high—Editor.)
An Italian company called Luxottica Group (NYSE: LUX) owns retail brands such as LensCrafters and Sunglass Hut in the US, but their real big business is producing fashion-branded sunglasses under labels for people like Prada. Their analysis is that as China develops a middle class, the Chinese will have very strong demand for relatively inexpensive, high profile goods that demonstrate economic status. Sunglasses fit that perfectly. Their big battle is going to be with people who do knockoffs, but one of the reasons to move to China and develop a retail presence, as they’ve done, is so that they can actually fight that on that turf. So their Chinese business is growing very quickly. (Luxottica closed at $34.36 Friday, just shy of its 52-week high.)