In July 2016, the world and financial markets were still in shock from Great Britain's vote to withdraw from the European Union. It was a watershed moment for the open market -- or perhaps a catastrophic flash flood, and at the time, Motley Fool co-founder David Gardner offered listeners to the Rule Breakers podcast a sampler of five stock recommendations that he felt had some Brexit resonance. Two years on, Brexit is barely even a work in progress. In fact, it's a political quagmire with no blueprint close to being accepted by all sides, and based on the latest news, the negotiations are appearing to grow even more tumultuous. However, though there's no clarity in Europe, it is nonetheless time for him to check back in and see how those picks are performing en route to the three-year holding period he originally suggested.
Stock No. 2 was Euronet Worldwide (NASDAQ:EEFT), a payment processor and ATM network operator, which David liked because he expected trade and commerce would keep growing globally despite Brexit. His baseline for comparison is the S&P 500, which is up 26% since he made these picks. At this point, the PayPal of Europe is not paying off for shareholders.
A full transcript follows the video.
This video was recorded on July 4, 2018.
David Gardner: Stock No. 2 is Euronet Worldwide. The ticker symbol is EEFT. This is, as I was saying two years ago, kind of the PayPal for Europe. This is a company that does a lot of e-payments, a lot of digital payments. Focused mostly in Europe, hence the name Euronet Worldwide. Yet, it also owns a lot of ATMs. Even though that may sound like an older business, because this company is expanding pretty mightily through India, where things are lower-tech in a lot of places throughout that country, a network of ATMs in India is a valuable commodity.
Euronet Worldwide two years ago was at $72 a share. Today, it tips the scales at $84 per share. That's up 17%. Good news, the stock is up, but bad news, the stock is losing to the market by 9%.
Well, why did this stock appear on the Brexit-inspired stock list? Well, for Euronet Worldwide, I was reminding anybody in the European Union who felt bereft that the U.K. had opted to leave that Europe remains such a substantial and important block. Yes, you've potentially lost one of your star players -- sticking with soccer, out on the field, you've lost one of your start players -- but you still have a really good team.
I like, I was saying at the time, the so-called PayPal for Europe, and I think that you should too. Let's hope that this stock has a better year over the next year so that I can put this one in the win column when we close out a year from now. But, for now, Euronet Worldwide is a minus 9%. If you combine that with Alphabet, plus 29%, minus 9%, that equals plus 20% as we move in our game to stock No. 3.
Suzanne Frey, an executive at Alphabet, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. David Gardner owns shares of GOOGL and GOOG. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends GOOGL, GOOG, and PYPL. The Motley Fool recommends Euronet Worldwide. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.