Share Your Favorite International Investment

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International diversification is nothing new, although it's recently been spurred by the growth and success of emerging markets. This year alone, developing-market ETFs have fared much better than most developed countries' indices. For instance, the iShares MSCI Emerging Market Index has returned roughly 67% so far in 2009; compared with the 23% return of the S&P 500, that's pretty impressive.

Although some domestic stocks like Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) have seen substantial gains year to date, blue chips like Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT  ) and McDonald's (NYSE: MCD  ) have yielded slightly negative returns. Investors who placed their money in foreign or emerging-market index funds have generally fared much better. Brazil, for example, has seen tremendous gains from stocks like Petroleo Brasileiro (NYSE: PBR  ) and AmBev (NYSE: ABV  ) . And Chinese stocks Baidu (Nasdaq: BIDU  ) and Fuqi International (Nasdaq: FUQI  ) have also helped bump up the Chinese market by bringing in monstrous returns.

As we move into 2010, one can only imagine that the next great international stock is out there, just waiting for one of us to pluck it up. What's your investing viewpoint: Brazilian sugar, Chinese agriculture, Indonesian telecom? Share your favorite international investment in the comments box below in less than 250 words. Our editorial team will select the most compelling thesis, and the winner will receive a free digital subscription to Global Gains, our international investing newsletter (a $299 retail value). The contest is open until 8:00 p.m. EST on Dec. 17, and all contest rules can be found here -- don't miss out!

Fool contributor Jordan DiPietro doesn't own any shares in the companies above. Baidu is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers pick. Apple is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendation. Wal-Mart Stores is a Motley Fool Inside Value recommendation. Petroleo Brasileiro is a Motley Fool Income Investor pick. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days. The Fool's disclosure policy enjoys hanging out along the Bosphorus Strait.


Read/Post Comments (37) | Recommend This Article (13)

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Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On December 15, 2009, at 2:04 PM, JibJabs wrote:

    VEIEX

  • Report this Comment On December 15, 2009, at 2:09 PM, PurpleHuskies wrote:

    !

  • Report this Comment On December 15, 2009, at 2:10 PM, PurpleHuskies wrote:

    Marry Christmas!

  • Report this Comment On December 15, 2009, at 2:13 PM, WizardofMe wrote:

    My greatest international stock has been CNI. It isn't the returns or the dividend that has me valuing this stock like I do; it is Buffett's "all-in bet" with Burlington-Northern that has me smiling. When someone of Buffett's prestige and experience feels railroads will be profitible, then the continents largest railroad (with close access to China) makes CNI a solid bet!

  • Report this Comment On December 15, 2009, at 2:13 PM, Turfscape wrote:

    Oh Canada...our home and native land...true patriot's love, in all thy sons command...

    That's right, my favorite international play is TIM HORTON'S (THI). Never been? It's quite possibly the most perfect place south of heaven.

    Imagine combining the coffee attraction of Starbucks with the delicious flavors of Dunkin' Donuts...and now imagine it twice as good! THAT'S Tim Horton's.

    It's the most prolific Canadian franchise. You can't go anywhere in the country without being near one. And 9 out of every 10 cups of coffee purchased in Canada are purchased at Timmy's! Not only is it good quality, but it somehow still retains its hipness and credibility despite its pervasiveness.

    From the first moment that I had a bite of my maple-glazed and sip of Timmy's coffee, I knew I had to own the company.

  • Report this Comment On December 15, 2009, at 2:13 PM, TMFmd19 wrote:

    I think one of the best international companies lies just north of our border. Brookfield Asset Management owns some of the premier property, infrastructure and power assets in the world. They are value investors with the liquidity to take advantage of the present market conditions with the recent example of the BBI recapitalization by their infrastrucure arm BIP. They are rumored to be involved in acquiring General Growth Properties. They own assets in Australia, UK as well as north and South America. Wonderful manageragement, solid returns and a great way to invest internationally with less risk.

  • Report this Comment On December 15, 2009, at 2:14 PM, catoismymotor wrote:

    Fairfax Financial Holdings.

    This is my favorite international holding. To me it looks perfect for the LTBH investor.

  • Report this Comment On December 15, 2009, at 2:21 PM, Turfscape wrote:

    Wow, Canada really seeing some love here...

  • Report this Comment On December 15, 2009, at 2:22 PM, caltex1nomad wrote:

    Taiwan Semiconductor (TSM) Low debt, Divi, Growing business, Great Price......Economic Recovery Stock

  • Report this Comment On December 15, 2009, at 2:24 PM, ThinkinDNA wrote:

    CHOP - China Steel Play

  • Report this Comment On December 15, 2009, at 3:17 PM, wonkman wrote:

    now thats what i call a brazilian waxing!!!

  • Report this Comment On December 15, 2009, at 4:10 PM, wonkman wrote:

    now thats what i call a brazilian waxing!!!

  • Report this Comment On December 15, 2009, at 4:11 PM, daveshouston wrote:

    IMAX has been a great stock for me. They're a Canadian company with theater deals and distribution worldwide. Imax has been converting from a distributor of large format film shown in museum theaters to distribution of digital box office releases in big screen theaters. They haven't had great results the past few years because of the transition. But now they've added enough theaters to get the attention of the major Hollywood studios. And digital distribution is a game changer for them vs. Film. The stock has gone up, up, and up this year with a lot more room to run.

  • Report this Comment On December 15, 2009, at 5:08 PM, TMFTypeoh wrote:

    PM - Phillip Morris International

    Buy, hold, forget, Profit!

    Lets see if if passes the smell test:

    Boring?: Yup

    Huge dividend?: Got that

    Less than 13 times earnings?: Uh huh

    Pricing power?: Does it ever.....

    Addictive, frequently purchased?: Duh

    Expanding all over the globe?: like a weed

    Will it crack into china?: Maybe....but if it doesn't, it still worth holding

    They don't come much easier than this....

  • Report this Comment On December 15, 2009, at 5:43 PM, eric2800 wrote:

    I think North East Petroleum (NEP) will be big. They dig for oil and pay PetroChina royalties for use of land. They have good Return on Capital, good margins, and are only trading for around 6 times forward earnings. They are very efficient and can make money off of oil even at low prices. Their earnings have fallen with the price of oil since last year, but they are expanding. Management owns a lot and seem to be competent and honest. They also have a good balance sheet. They recently aquired Tiancheng for 3 times earnings. Tiancheng is another small company but was a big oil producer for PetroChina. Now this gives NEP some oil rigs to expand their oil drilling. And NEP leases other properties for future drilling.

    They have been raising capital which I don't like since their valuation is cheap. But many small Chinese companies have done this also. I think NEP's management will allocate any new funds appropriately.

    All in all, I think this could be a multibagger.

  • Report this Comment On December 15, 2009, at 5:55 PM, eric2800 wrote:

    I like NEP

  • Report this Comment On December 15, 2009, at 6:05 PM, sdfelling wrote:

    MELI is a high multiple growth story.

  • Report this Comment On December 15, 2009, at 6:48 PM, Eerkes wrote:

    Jinpan International (JST) - I got a rec from a friend doing some intense research on Chinese companies involved specifically with wind, and then I did some research. Not too long after that I got a teaser from Hidden Gems that sounded exactly like this company.

    I got serious and have been buying in chunks since late November.

    A great company with strong cash flows, and the price is still right. Plus, it commits to a small dividend even with opportunites abound for its money. Shows discipline.

    This is the company that got me a piece of the Chinese growth story, and if I could only own one company, this would be it.

  • Report this Comment On December 15, 2009, at 6:57 PM, Chinastocks55 wrote:

    LPIH.OB: Longwei Petro.

    A top tier China energy play.

    .80 cents EPS and 450 mil in revenue going forward on a conservative basis.

    The stock closed today at 2.30.

    Here is the Red Chip upgrade from last week.

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/RedChip-Visibility-Raises-pz-1...

  • Report this Comment On December 15, 2009, at 7:11 PM, Maui808Gal wrote:

    While I am also a BIG fan of NEP for the reasons listed above, and I, too, believe it will be a multi-bagger....

    My favorite (and first International stock) is CAGC, China Agritech, Inc. They manufacture and sell organic liquid fertilizer. Here's why:

    Very reasonable debt

    Growth in net income

    Good cash flow

    Strong earnings growth

    I bought in at $2.25 in July 2009, which was followed by a reverse split 1:4 in September 2009 and it currently sits at $28-29.

    Of course, now wishing I had bought a whole lot more!!

  • Report this Comment On December 15, 2009, at 8:43 PM, DDHv wrote:

    My favorite is not public - Moteur Development international is a very speculative company and was selling shares a few years back. I understand the technology and business plan. It will either go great, or flunk, should know in another few years. They have entered the X Prize contest, as of the last I heard.

    My favorite public company is Silver Wheaton (SLW) a play on silver. Silver is likely to go up, and their business plan is more like the grubstakers than the prospectors. Historically, those who grubstaked to prospectors did better than the prospectors in the long run. This is partly defensive against the dollar.

  • Report this Comment On December 15, 2009, at 9:04 PM, investor2688 wrote:

    HOGS(Zhongpin) is an international investment that should do well considering the expanding purchasing power of the Chinese public. It is one of the largest pork processors in China, which should do well considering meat consumption increases with wealth. The government also supports the company, as seen by the recent $3.1 million dollar subsidy to expand processing facilities. With large increases in capacity about to become functional, analysts project a 37% 5 yr earnings growth rate. This stock is undervalued even if these estimates are overly optimistic considering it has a forward p/e of 8.5. Swine flu fears are likely to prove to be overblown allowing the stock to appreciate significantly once pork prices recover.

  • Report this Comment On December 15, 2009, at 10:01 PM, starbucks4ever wrote:

    My favorite international investment, if it will qualify in that category, is FXP. It is my belief that none of the international stocks offers a better risk-reward ratio at the current prices than a Proshares fund that ultra-shorts China. Chinese market is very overbought anyway, but while stock fundamentals are bad, the macroeconomic fundamentals are terrible. I see a real chance of a systemic collapse that might well produce an 80% drop in the Chinese indexes, and then sky is the limit for FXP. Bubbles, however, are notoriously hard to short, so caveat emptor.

  • Report this Comment On December 15, 2009, at 10:31 PM, jerryguru69 wrote:

    FOOLX. The only international fund that would allow me to sleep at night.

  • Report this Comment On December 16, 2009, at 2:14 AM, ChinaExpert wrote:

    CEU China Education Alliance

    Online education in China: famous instructors' lessons online for school examinations. These exams are the most important thing in the life of all kids in China and parents will spend anything for these exams. Very big in China.

    Strong fundamentals. P/E: 10. 50% p.a. revenue growth likely. Over $53mn in cash (after share issue) out of $150mn market cap (and hence possible acquisition). ROE around 40%.

    Scalable busiess model: SG&A rising slower than revenue. Operating margin 06-08: 33%/36%/40% (Q309: 44%). Cost-effective management.

  • Report this Comment On December 16, 2009, at 2:23 AM, ChinaExpert wrote:

    I just posted CEU as my favourite. Another word on my current investment strategy. Privately owned Chinese stocks (vs. State-owned) are extremely high risk individually (regulation, fraud, competition). But many of them are very high growth (20-50% p.a), wonderful ROE, and attractive P/E (5-15). I therefore accumulate since May 2009 (when the bear is clearly over) a huge portfolio of them (40% of my portfolio): 100 stocks in total (some listed in US and some in HK). Maybe 10% will go under (and on such sign I cut loss and sell. I only sold two so far; losing only 20% on my investment). And due to the volatility, i always place my best in three batches.

    I owned many of the stocks mentioned here: CHBT; NEP; LPIH, JST, HOGS.

    Overall this side of my portfolio has doubled since May. Many of the individual stocks has of course tripled since then.

    BTW, the other half of my portfolio is in state-owned Chinese stocks (like Chinese banks), chinese property companies, and US recovery plays (like TIE and CNO).

  • Report this Comment On December 16, 2009, at 5:53 AM, foolasia wrote:

    At $127 mil market cap, China Recycling Energy Corp is my pick for the next great investment. It builds, operates and leases energy recycling systems for heavy industries. It's excellent and long-term revenue model generates income from sales, leases and financing. Q3 revenue and income grew 333% and 1045% and they already hit full year 2009 guidance. The balance sheet is very strong with over $63 mil in assets versus $17 mil in liabilities. It is in the right sector as the company will benefit from the chinese government's energy efficiency/green drive. It's also 31% owned by Carlyle group. It's undervalued at $3.30. This stock can easily hit $20-30.

  • Report this Comment On December 16, 2009, at 11:06 AM, DebtFreeDave0 wrote:

    Maybe it's just this year, but I haven't had really real big winners in international stocks. Most of the international stocks I've bought have gone down, while a few have gone up 10% or so. Meanwhile many my domestic stocks have gone sky high. Seems like by the time I find a international stock I like, it has already gained over 100%. One example is CFSG, which I bought right at the peak, at $17.75. It has gone down 22% since then.

    Maybe I need to get a subscription to Global Gains to turn my luck around!

  • Report this Comment On December 16, 2009, at 11:14 AM, blaueskobalt wrote:

    I considered picking CMFO, but I felt lame using a GG rec. So I'm going go off the beaten (flight)path with Aerocentury (ACY):

    ACY owns and leases small planes and jets to various regional airlines. Although they are based in California, most of their customers are outside the US (esp. Latin America). As the developing world...umm...develops, the demand for air travel will increase, and ACY allows investors to tap that growth without exposing themselves to the risk of a single airline and/or a single country/region. And they have demonstrated their ability to grow, increasing revenues every year since 2002 (24% CAGR!!). ACY also boasts some 30% insider ownership. Currently trading at 0.6 times book and 7 times earnings, this stock is sure to be an international high-flier for years to come!

  • Report this Comment On December 16, 2009, at 11:38 AM, SweetMircha wrote:

    Tim Horton's, Transalta Utilities, Naikun Wind Systems.

    It's Canadian and it's all GOOD.

    Get your Tim's China Mug & Timcard before they disappear.

  • Report this Comment On December 16, 2009, at 11:41 AM, altam0 wrote:

    My favorite international investment of the past year is a 2008 Volvo XC90. Automobiles are not an investment you say. Well this one was-

    *It’s actually worth more now than when I got it. Due to the economy no one wanted to buy my car new but now that it’s used, it actually is an easier sell.

    *Safety, safety, safety. That is an investment.

    *I ‘m in love with my car but if it fails to perform I’ll have no qualms about selling it because I know how to determine its value and decide if a another car might perform better for me.

    Now I can research and buy a car all on my own but I need help with stock investments especially international stock investments. A subscription to Global Gains is the education I need. That and a nice fool hoodie.

  • Report this Comment On December 16, 2009, at 11:57 AM, Viking70 wrote:

    SORL is my favorite pick as it has increased from $1.50 in Feb 09 to $9.00 today. However, I don't think it can continue this trajectory no matter how much time I spend in fantasy land.

    The international stocks that I think will do well in coming months are YUII, CSKI and LPHI (China), SID (Brazil) and SLT (India).

  • Report this Comment On December 16, 2009, at 1:34 PM, ultimatespinach wrote:

    Skystar Bio-Pharmaceutical Co. of Xi’an, China (Nasdaq: SKBI) is a microcap growth stock selling at a value price. Skystar produces and distributes veterinary medicines, vaccines, micro-organisms and feed additives for the Chinese agricultural industry. It sells more than 170 products throughout China’s 29 farming provinces. Its only competitors with such scale are state-owned enterprises.

    The government campaign to consolidate and modernize China’s agricultural industry provides Skystar with an opportunity to turbocharge its growth curve. Using the proceeds of a $21 million stock offering last summer, Skystar is expanding production facilities for micro-organisms and vaccines, its highest-margin products. It expects vaccine revenue to grow 2300 percent in 2010, from $1 million to $14 million. It expects micro-organism revenues to grow 50 percent, from $5.8 million to $8.5 million. The company also bought an aquaculture vaccine company in November for $1.2 million, with which it will address a market it estimates at $150 million.

    Skystar reported revenues of $9.8 million in 2006, $15.1 million in ’07, $25.6 million in ’08 and $22.8 million through the first three quarters of ‘09. With earnings of $1.29 and a stock price, at the moment, of $9.40, SKBI trades at a P/E of about 7. The company is targeting additional revenue of $16.7 million in 2010 as a result of its production expansion alone. Profitability is increasing. In Q3, net income represented 41.9 percent of total revenue, compared with 34.5 percent in the year-ago period. In short, Skystar is cheap, and its growth prospects robust.

  • Report this Comment On December 16, 2009, at 2:37 PM, ultimatespinach wrote:

    Skystar Bio-Pharmaceutical Co. of Xi’an, China (Nasdaq: SKBI) is a microcap growth stock selling at a value price. Skystar produces and distributes veterinary medicines, vaccines, micro-organisms and feed additives for the Chinese agricultural industry. It sells more than 170 products throughout China’s 29 farming provinces. Its only competitors with such scale are state-owned enterprises.

    The government campaign to consolidate and modernize China’s agricultural industry provides Skystar with an opportunity to turbocharge its growth curve. Using the proceeds of a $21 million stock offering last summer, Skystar is expanding production facilities for micro-organisms and vaccines, its highest-margin products. It expects vaccine revenue to grow 2300 percent in 2010, from $1 million to $14 million. It expects micro-organism revenues to grow 50 percent, from $5.8 million to $8.5 million. The company also bought an aquaculture vaccine company in November for $1.2 million, with which it will address a market it estimates at $150 million.

    Skystar reported revenues of $9.8 million in 2006, $15.1 million in ’07, $25.6 million in ’08 and $22.8 million through the first three quarters of ‘09. With earnings of $1.29 and a stock price, at the moment, of $9.40, SKBI trades at a P/E of about 7. The company is targeting additional revenue of $16.7 million in 2010 as a result of its production expansion alone. Profitability is increasing. In Q3, net income represented 41.9 percent of total revenue, compared with 34.5 percent in the year-ago period. In short, Skystar is cheap, and its growth prospects robust.

  • Report this Comment On December 17, 2009, at 12:16 AM, dividendprovider wrote:

    Diageo baby

  • Report this Comment On December 18, 2009, at 1:22 PM, ARJTurgot wrote:

    Bought PetroBraz PBR on the dip, so it's about doubled in less than a year. What I did, I did on fundamentals and turned out to be right. What I didn't realize is how huge they are going to be.

    Everyone is focused on China. South America has better infrastructure, no overpopulation problem, tremendous natural resources, and pockets of very well educated people in countries like Argentina. Nationalism gives way to pragmatism quickly when they see money to be made.

  • Report this Comment On March 19, 2010, at 8:04 AM, Artx84de408 wrote:

    Kind of late....but YPF, CEL and ASR

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