Is This Australia's Next Multibagger?

If you think the dollar is doomed, you aren't the only one.

My fellow Fool Tim Hanson, co-advisor for Motley Fool Global Gains, has warned of the dollar's demise for months now. So has Warren Buffett. Fortunately, neither of these guys has abandoned all hope. Even if the greenback gets a nasty case of gangrene, you still have ways to survive -- and even profit.

Your best bet may be to invest in the stocks of foreign companies that denominate revenue and earnings in stable currencies. Tim and Global Gains co-advisor Nate Parmelee particularly like Australia's dollar, and for good reason. The land down under has a history of harvesting big winners that trade on American exchanges. Here's a look at Australia's top four returners, as identified by Capital IQ:

Company

Recent Price

CAPS Stars
(out of 5)

1-Year U.S. Return

Alumina Limited (NYSE: AWC  )

$6.51

*****

75.0%

BHP Billiton (NYSE: BHP  )

$76.35

****

88.4%

Westpac Banking (NYSE: WBK  )

$113.56

**

102.1%

InterOil (NYSE: IOC  )

$76.45

*

550.6%

Sources: Capital IQ, Motley Fool CAPS, Yahoo! Finance.
Data current as of Dec. 29.

Why your portfolio should like Australia
If China is home to Asia's undiscovered gems, Australia is home to some of the world's best-known powerhouses.

Take News Corp., for example. Rupert Murdoch's media empire is enjoying hundreds of millions in box office receipts for James Cameron's Avatar, even as it challenges Google (Nasdaq: GOOG  ) over how the search king indexes and distributes news.

And yet, for as much influence as Murdoch has, Australia's major industry is mining. China's appetite for iron ore, coal, and gas has helped the country mostly skirt the global recession that's tarnished other economies. Its gross domestic product rose 0.2% in the third quarter, after a 0.6% gain in the second quarter, Australia's Bureau of Statistics reports.

Can the good times last? Bill Evans, chief economist for Westpac Banking, apparently thinks so. "The outlook for the Australian economy is very positive," Bloomberg quotes Evans as saying. "A resurgent China will be a key plus for exports and investment in the mining sector."

Fools can see the upside. "Generally speaking, I like Australia, because of the economic growth from being the supplier of stuff (natural gas, iron ore, aluminum, etc.) to all of Asia," Nate said when I asked him about Australia last week.

Our 145,000-plus Motley Fool CAPS community also expects to make money Down Under. Fools give three out of five stars to the average Australian stock in CAPS, which tracks 19 issues trading on American exchanges. Alumina is their top overall pick. The details:

Alumina Limited

Business Description

One of the country's largest producers of the raw material used to make aluminum. Has a 40% stake in a global joint venture with Alcoa (NYSE: AA  ) .

CAPS Stars (out of 5)

*****

Total Ratings

212

Percent Bulls

95.8%

Percent Bears

4.2%

Bullish Pitches

25 out of 27

CAPS Members Bullish on AWC Also Bullish on

Aluminum Corp. of China (NYSE: ACH  )

Data current as of Dec. 29.

Alumina's 75% gain over the past year has more than doubled the 36% return of Australia's ASX 200 index, comparable to the S&P 500 here. CAPS investors continue to like the company's prospects; only three of the last 99 investors to rate Alumina believe it will lag the market. The remainder appear to believe the thesis offered by CAPS All-Star Teacherman1 in July:

A good stock for investors with a longer term (2-3 year) horizon. Could return 75% to 100% on an annualized basis at their current price, when they return to historical valuations. They have been around for a long time, and have had a relationship with Alcoa for over 40 years. Think about the impact on the aluminum requirements when both "New GM" and "New Chrysler" get their production "re-ramped".

What do you think? Would you buy Alumina at today's prices? Let us know by signing up for CAPS today. It's 100% free to participate.

Each month, Tim and Nate spotlight promising international stocks in Global Gains. Try this market-beating service risk-free for 30 days and get access to coverage of all of their recommendations.

Google is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendation. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

Fool contributor Tim Beyers is a member of the market-beating Rule Breakers stock-picking team. He owned shares of Google at the time of publication. Check out Tim's portfolio holdings and Foolish writings, or connect with him on Twitter as @milehighfool. The Motley Fool is also on Twitter as @TheMotleyFool. Its disclosure policy is an unapologetic globetrotter.


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