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This story originally appeared on MarketBeat
International stocks as measured by the MSCI EAFE index have underperformed the S&P 500 in each of the last three years and are once again lagging in 2021. Yet some analysts think foreign stocks are on the cusp of asserting market leadership thanks to better growth prospects, a weakening U.S. dollar, and attractive valuations.
One way to invest in non-U.S. stocks is to own American Depository Receipts, or ADRs. ADRs are securities that trade on U.S. exchanges and represent equity ownership in a foreign company. Over 2,000 ADRs are available for purchase by U.S. investors. They are priced in dollar terms but offer exposure to companies that are based in more than 70 countries.
Let’s take a look at a few of the ADRs that look like buy opportunities at current levels.
What is a Good Generic Drug Company to Invest In?
If you’ve ever been prescribed a generic medication, chances are it came from Teva Pharmaceuticals (NYSE:TEVA). That’s because the Israeli drug manufacturer is the company behind one out of every nine generic prescriptions filled in the U.S. As the largest generic drug manufacturer in the world, Teva’s products are used to treat wide range of medical conditions.
One thing they all have in common is their relatively low price tag. On average, generic drugs are roughly 80% less expensive than their brand name equivalents. The cost difference is often a no-brainer for healthcare providers and patients alike—and a major competitive threat to other pharmaceutical giants.
More than 800 generic medicines are currently being developed by Teva researchers to increase patient access to treatments and decrease insurance company and out-of-pocket expenses. This pipeline along with Teva’s existing product portfolio should generate well-diversified growth in an industry that is facing intensifying scrutiny over drug prices.
At around $10 per share and a forward P/E ratio close to 4x, Teva is one of the most attractive ways to play the aging population theme—and more specifically the trend towards lower-cost prescription medications. The valuation is where it is largely due to the relentless overhang of pending lawsuits. But at this point, the rewards of new product launches and a strengthening pipeline seem to outweigh the risks.
What is a Good Mining Stock to Own?
A great way to play the global economic recovery while getting broad-based international exposure is buying the Rio Tinto (NYSE:RIO) ADR. After enacting a 4-for-1 stock split back in April 2010, the stock has treaded water for the better part of the last decade. But after rallying 27% last year on hopes of better economic times ahead, the leading mining company appears to be in comeback mode.
Headquartered in London, Rio Tinto’s vast iron ore, aluminum, copper, and diamond assets span the globe from eastern Australia to western Canada. In the U.S. it owns the Kennecott copper mine in Utah as well as the Boron borate mine in California.
Rio Tinto’s recent financial performance has improved in large part because of rebounding demand for metals used in auto manufacturing, construction, household appliances, and consumer electronics. But it is also reaping the benefits of cost cutting measures and a renewed focus on its core operations after shedding some assets.
The Rio Tinto ADR is trading at 11.5x forward earnings which is near the middle of its historical valuation range. But with margins trending higher at a time when growth opportunities in steel and copper are popping up, it is a price well worth paying.
Is Royal Dutch Shell a Good Energy Investment?
Moving over to the energy sector, Netherlands-based Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE:RDS-A) is another good ADR to have in a long-term portfolio. Considered one of six oil and gas supermajors, the stock has rallied since late last year but trading in the high $30’s remains a distance away from its days as an $80-plus stock. Improving oil and gas demand and higher pricing point to better periods ahead for the beleaguered energy sector.
Investing in an oil and gas behemoth at a time when world governments are setting low or zero carbon emission targets and promoting clean energy may seem reckless, but Royal Dutch Shell is on board with the cause. The company is aiming to gradually reduce the carbon intensity of its energy offerings until it reaches its 2050 target of zero carbon emissions from the energy it sells.
This will be done by shifting away from oil and towards cleaner natural gas. It will also involve increased investment in low-carbon fuels like hydrogen and various biofuels. Meanwhile, the company’s renewable electricity business is slated to become a bigger part of the product mix.
Much work needs to be done in the case of Royal Dutch Shell and its oil and gas peers but investing while these companies are commonly perceived as less relevant pillars of the world’s energy supply is better than waiting for the clean energy transformation to unfold.
The Royal Dutch Shell ADR is one of the most favored energy stocks among sell-side analysts. Over the last three months, the stock has received 5 ‘buy’ ratings compared to two ‘holds’, and no ‘sells’. Earlier this month Jeffries reiterated its ‘buy’ rating and gave it a $48.50 price target which represents more than 25% upside, not to mention a 2.8% dividend yield.
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