International stocks are often overlooked, making them top targets for savvy investors seeking bargains. While investing overseas sounds complicated, you can buy many such stocks easily, either through American depositary receipts (ADRs) issued by U.S. banks (representing a specified number of shares in a foreign company), or through decisions by some overseas companies to list in the U.S. directly.
To help you find foreign companies worth buying, we asked three Motley Fool contributors for their top ideas right now. Here's why they think you should consider putting Melco Resorts & Entertainment (NASDAQ:MLCO), LVMH (OTC:LVMUY), and Renault (OTC:RNSDF) into your portfolio now.
Are high rollers returning to Macao?
Todd Campbell (Melco Resorts & Entertainment): If your travel plans include Macao, then you could very well find yourself visiting a property owned by Melco Resorts & Entertainment, an operator of gambling casinos in Asia.
Melco is heavily exposed to China via its properties in Macao, including Altira Macau, City of Dreams, and the Mocha Clubs, the largest noncasino electronic gambling-machine operator in Macao. It also has a cinema, retail, and gambling resort named Studio City there.
Outside Macao, a subsidiary operates City of Dreams Manila, and Melco has interests in Crown Resorts Limited, a company behind the Crown Melbourne Entertainment Complex and Crown Perth Entertainment Complex in Australia; and Crown Aspinalls, a high-end casino in London. Various projects underway include new developments in Sydney and Cyprus.
The company's big exposure to Macao has contributed to the stock slipping as the U.S.-China trade war escalated. But shares are bouncing back lately on better-than-expected gambling revenue in Macao and the recently announced trade truce. Gross gambling revenue (GGR) increased 5.9% in June in Macao, and analysts expect a similar improvement in July.
The improvement, which follows consecutive monthly declines in March and April and a 1.8% improvement in May, could signal that Melco financials may pop from last quarter, when revenue grew 3.8% year over year to $1.36 billion. If so, then picking up shares now while they're trading about 28% off last summer's highs could pay off.
The 800-pound gorilla of the luxury goods market
Leo Sun (LVMH): There's a strong chance that you already use LVMH's products. The French company's portfolio of 75 high-end houses includes fashion brands Louis Vuitton, Dior, and Fendi; beauty products retailer Sephora; watch and jewelry brands like Bulgari and TAG Heuer, and spirit brands like Moet & Chandon and Hennessy.
I've repeatedly called LVMH one of my favorite defensive stocks for the trade war, since it has a well-diversified, recession-resistant portfolio of brands, it consistently repurchases its stock and raises its dividend, and the EU isn't in a trade war with China.
LVMH posted organic growth and operating-margin expansion across all of its business segments last year, and that growth continued into the first quarter of 2019. It also recently stated that its flagship Louis Vuitton brand was generating "unheard-of growth" in mainland China -- allaying concerns about that country's slowing economy.
LVMH is also expanding its reach into new markets with two major deals with Rihanna's Fenty -- one for beauty products and another for fashion products sold through an e-commerce platform and pop-up stores. Rihanna's Fenty Beauty is already a major growth engine for LVMH's cosmetics business, and the new fashion house should give its core fashion and leather business a big boost.
Organic sales rose 11% last year as the company's net profit climbed 20%. Its stock isn't cheap at 30 times earnings, but I believe its many strengths justify that premium.
A hidden gem in electric vehicles
Travis Hoium (Renault): The arrest of CEO Carlos Ghosn in late 2018 left the two companies he has led -- Nissan and Renault -- without the iconic leader of their renaissance. But that may open up an opportunity if it eventually leads to a new structure or owner for the companies, and Renault is a company I think we'll see more of in the U.S.
The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance that Ghosn masterminded is behind 1 in 9 cars built in the world. But it's their leadership in electric vehicles that has me intrigued. Together, they're the largest maker of EVs in the world, and Renault makes small passenger vehicles and vans that fit well into the market.
Small EVs like Renault's ZOE and Twizy have 186 and 62 miles of range, respectively, perfect for their small form factor. The Twizy has also introduced an innovative "battery hire" program, which is basically a battery rental with minimum capacity performance guaranteed.
The company's Kangoo and Master vans fill a need in last-mile operations for delivery firms. Electric vehicles that operate in urban environments and run predictable, short routes are perfect for electric technology, and Renault is already in the market. The next step is to build a bigger presence in the U.S., and I think we'll see more of that in the next few years.