Top 5 European Companies To Watch For 2015


USA TODAY markets reporter Matt Krantz answers a different reader question every weekday. To submit a question, e-mail Matt at mkrantz@usatoday.com.

Q: Is it too late to buy stocks with them at record highs?

A: When stocks are on the way up or hitting record highs, investors don’t like the feeling that they’re paying too much. But when stocks are in free fall and hitting lows,investors are afraid they might fall even further.

That’s the dilemma of the market timer. If you’re one of the people who have been sitting on the sidelines all year and missed out on the stock market’s impressive move this year, you certainly can understand how costly trying to time the market, and being wrong, can be.


Some investors have all sorts of ways they say they can tell when the market is too expensive — or too cheap. Some might be effective, but more times than not, these market timers are missing rallies and riding stocks down too far.

Top 5 European Companies To Watch For 2015: TotalFinaElf S.A.(TOT)

TOTAL S.A., together with its subsidiaries, operates as an integrated oil and gas company worldwide. The company operates through three segments: Upstream, Downstream, and Chemicals. The Upstream segment engages in the exploration, development, and production of oil and natural gas. It also involves in the transportation, trade, and marketing of natural gas and liquefied natural gas (LNG), as well as in LNG re-gasification and natural gas storage operations. In addition, this segment engages in the shipping and trade of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG); power generation from gas-fired power plants, nuclear, or renewable energies; production, trade, and marketing of coal, as well as in solar power systems and technology operations. As of December 31, 2010, it had combined proved reserves of 10,695 Mboe of oil and gas. The Downstream segment involves in refining, marketing, trading, and shipping crude oil and petroleum products. It also produces a range of specialty products, s uch as lubricants, LPG, jet fuel, special fluids, bitumen, marine fuels, and petrochemical feedstock. This segment holds interests in 24 refineries located in Europe, the United States, the French West Indies, Africa, and China, as well as operates a network of 17,490 service stations. The Chemicals segment produces base chemicals, including petrochemicals and fertilizers, as well as engages in rubber processing, resins, adhesives, and electroplating activities. TOTAL S.A. was founded in 1924 and is based in Paris, France.


Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By RichardCox]

    Investors looking for exposure in energy stocks without the added risks that accompanies firms that are heavily focused on properties in the Middle East, additional choices can be found in Octagon 88 Resources (OTCQB:OCTX), and France’s Total (TOT). Market valuations at Octagon 88 have yet to match the broader rallies in oil prices, but this could change in coming months as key development projections continue to make progress. Specifically, Octagon’s Peace River will likely add 1.6 billion barrels of oil to the company’s total output potential but the stock price is still trading at the middle of its yearly range, so there is little to suggest that these improvements have been priced into the company’s stock price.

  • [By Varun Chandan, Arora]

    The Yamal LNG project, which is being developed by Novatek, France’s Total SA (NYSE: TOT  ) , and China’s CNPC, already has the required permits. The LNG plant will have three trains with total capacity of 16.5 million tons of LNG per year, with the first LNG train currently scheduled to start-up in late 2017. The main market for LNG will be China.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Ensco provided an updated fleet status report, which was highlighted by an initial contract for its ultra-deepwater newbuild drillship, Ensco DS-8 (12,000′), expected to begin work for Total (TOT) in Angola during 3Q15 (through 3Q20) at an initial dayrate in the high $610 range (vs. our estimate of $505k/day) with periodic increases equating to an average rate in the mid-$650 range over the 5-year program (ex-mob).

Top 5 European Companies To Watch For 2015: Aercap Holdings N.V. (AER)


AerCap Holdings N.V., through its subsidiaries, operates as an integrated aviation company worldwide. It engages in leasing and trading aircraft and engines; and selling parts. The company also provides aircraft management services, as well as aircraft and limited engine MRO services, and aircraft disassembly services through its repair stations. In addition, it offers aircraft services, including remarketing aircraft; collecting rental and maintenance payments, monitoring aircraft maintenance, monitoring and enforcing contract compliance, and accepting delivery and redelivery of aircraft; conducting ongoing lessee financial performance reviews; inspecting the leased aircraft; coordinating technical modifications to aircraft to meet new lessee requirements; conducting restructurings negotiations in connection with lease defaults; repossessing aircraft; arranging and monitoring insurance coverage; registering and de-registering aircraft; arranging for aircraft and aircraft engine valuations; and providing market research. The company?s management services include leasing and remarketing, cash management and treasury, technical advisory, and accounting and administrative services. As of March 31, 2011, it owned 272 aircraft and 95 engines, which it leased under operating leases to 118 lessees in 53 countries. The company was founded in 1995 and is headquartered in Schiphol, the Netherlands.


Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Jayson Derrick]

    Analysts at Barclays maintained an Equal-weight rating on Aercap Holdings (NYSE: AER) with a price target raised to $53 from a previous $24. Shares lost 1.32 percent, closing at $47.06.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Finally. Finally American International Group (AIG) has disposed of its ILFC unit by selling it to AerCap Holdings (AER).

    Bloomberg News

    The Wall Street Journal has the details on the deal:

  • [By Tess Stynes]

    AIG confirmed it will sell its stake in International Lease Finance Corp to aircraft-leasing company AerCap Holdings N.V(AER). for $5.4 billion in cash and stock.

  • [By Paul Ausick]

    More than two years ago, American International Group Inc. (NYSE: AIG) filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering (IPO) in its aircraft leasing group, International Lease Finance Corp. (ILFC). That filing came to nothing, and AIG found little interest from buyers for ILFC, until Monday morning when it announced that AerCap Holdings N.V. (NYSE: AER) will buy the leasing operation for $3 billion in cash and 97.56 million shares of new AerCap stock. The total value of the deal is approximately $5.4 billion.

Top 5 European Companies To Watch For 2015: Telefonica SA(TEF)


Telefonica, S.A. provides fixed and mobile telephony services primarily in Spain, rest of Europe, and Latin America. Its fixed telecommunication services include PSTN lines; ISDN accesses; public telephone; local, domestic, and international long distance and fixed-to-mobile communications; corporate communications; video telephony; supplementary and business-oriented value-added services; network services; leasing and sale of handset equipment; and telephony information services. The company?s Internet and broadband multimedia services comprise Internet service provider service; portal and network services; retail and wholesale broadband access; narrowband switched access to Internet; naked ADSL, a broadband connection; residential-oriented value-added services; companies-oriented value-added services; television services, such as IPTV, cable television, and satellite television; and Fiber to the Home, a service for high speed Internet access and digital video recording. Its data and business-solutions services principally include leased lines; virtual private network services; fiber optics services; the provision of hosting and application; outsourcing and consultancy services; desktop services; and system integration and professional services. The company?s wholesale services for telecommunication operators primarily comprise domestic interconnection services; international wholesale services; leased lines for other operators? network deployment; local loop leasing under the unbundled local loop regulation framework; and bit stream services. It also offers various mobile and related services and products that include mobile voice services, value added services, mobile data and Internet services, wholesale services, corporate services, roaming, fixed wireless, and trunking and paging services. The company has a strategic alliance with China Unicom (Hong Kong) Limited. Telefonica, S.A. was founded in 1924 and is headquartered in Madrid, Spai n.


Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By ID Analysts]

    I continue to watch U.S.-based Verizon (NYSE:VZ); more updates later. I don’t currently recommend Spain-based Telefónica (NYSE:TEF), as Robert outlines below.

  • [By Jayson Derrick]

    Telefonica (NYSE: TEF) announced it is in talks to acquire an un-named Mexican rival for as much as 3 billion euros. Shares gained 1.22 percent, closing at $16.63.

  • [By Charles Sizemore]

    So, what does this mean for AMX stock and for its largest single competitor in Latin America, Spain’sTelefonica (TEF)?


    To start, this will, by default, massively diversify AMX’s revenue stream globally. Though AMX is the number-one or number-two mobile provider in nearly every Latin American country, its home market of Mexico is by far its biggest. Mexico currently accounts for about a third of sales and nearly half of profits. The new AMX will be a pan-Latin-American telecom giant based in Mexico rather than a Mexican telecom giant with operations in Central and South America.

  • [By Charles Sizemore]

    Next Page

    European Dividend Stocks to Buy: Telefonica (TEF)


    Dividend Yield: 6%

    And finally, we get to one of my favorite long-term holdings, Spanish telecom giant Telefonica (TEF).

Top 5 European Companies To Watch For 2015: Flamel Technologies S.A.(FLML)

Flamel Technologies S.A., a biopharmaceutical company, engages in the development and commercialization of controlled-release therapeutic products based on its proprietary polymer based technology in the United Kingdom, Ireland, the United States, France, and Europe. The company develops nanogel Medusa technology, which is intended to provide controlled release following injection of therapeutic proteins, peptides, and other molecules; a microparticle adaptation of the Medusa platform that is intended for use in the delivery of smaller proteins and peptides; and Micropump technology, a microparticle technology for oral administration of small molecule drugs with applications in controlled-release, taste-masking, and bioavailability enhancement; and Trigger-Lock technology, an adaptation based on Micropump technology, which is intended to minimize the misuse and abuse of medications subject to abuse. Its principal product based on Micropump technology is Coreg CR, which is intended for the treatment of moderate to severe heart failure and left ventricular dysfunction following myocardial infarction. The company?s products under development based upon Medusa technology include Interferon-alpha, a naturally occurring protein that the body uses for the treatment of Hepatitis C virus and as a immune response; and FT-105, an injectable insulin formulation for diabetic patients. Its products based on its Micropump technology comprise LiquiTime for the elderly and pediatric patient patients, or others who have difficulty swallowing. The company has strategic alliance with Baxter International, Inc.; GlaxoSmithKline; Merck Serono; and Pfizer Inc, as well as has a joint development agreement with Digna Biotech, S.L. Flamel Technologies S.A. was founded in 1990 and is headquartered in Venissieux, France.


Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Anna Prior]

    Flamel Technologies SA(FLML) said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the company’s new drug application for Vazculep, an alpha-1 adrenergic receptor agonist indicated for the treatment of clinically important hypotension resulting primarily from vasodilation in the setting of anesthesia. American depositary shares rose 5.1% to $14.78 in premarket trading.

  • [By Garrett Cook]

    Healthcare shares gained 0.81 percent in the US market on Friday. Top gainers in the sector included Shire plc (NASDAQ: SHPG), StemCells (NASDAQ: STEM), and Flamel Technologies SA (NASDAQ: FLML).

  • [By Garrett Cook]

    Healthcare shares gained 0.81 percent in the US market on Friday. Top gainers in the sector included Shire plc (NASDAQ: SHPG), StemCells (NASDAQ: STEM), and Flamel Technologies SA (NASDAQ: FLML).

Top 5 European Companies To Watch For 2015: Fresenius Medical Care Corporation (FMS)

Fresenius Medical Care AG & Co. KGaA, a dialysis company, provides products and services for patients with chronic kidney diseases. As of May 12, 2011, it provided dialysis care services to 216,942 patients through its network of 2,769 dialysis clinics primarily in North America, Europe, Latin America, the Asia-Pacific, and Africa. The company also develops and manufactures various dialysis products, including hemodialysis machines, dialyzers, hemofilters, dialysis fluid filters, tubing systems, fistula needles, dialysis related equipment, acute hemodialysis machines, plasma filters, acute tubing systems and cassettes, catheters, and related disposable products for chronic hemodialysis, acute therapy, home therapy, and therapeutic apheresis, as well as dialysis drugs. In addition, it provides laboratory services. Fresenius Medical sells its products through distributors. The company was founded in 1996 and is headquartered in Bad Homburg, Germany.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Louie Grint]

    Still unaffected
    First, Fresenius Medical Care (NYSE: FMS  ) is the No. 1 global provider of dialysis equipment. It enjoys leading market share of almost 33% in its home country.

  • [By John Udovich]

    Small cap dialysis stock Rockwell Medical Inc (NASDAQ: RMTI) looks set to decline when the market opens after Brean Capital initiated coverage with a sell rating and a price target of $4.00, meaning it might be time to take a closer look at what is going on with the stock along with the performance of large cap dialysis stocks DaVita Healthcare Partners (NYSE: DVA) and Fresenius Medical Care (NYSE: FMS) along with small cap dialysis stocks NxStage Medical, Inc (NASDAQ: NXTM). 

  • [By Johanna Bennett]

    Dialysis provider DaVita Healthcare Partners (DVA) soared almost 8.9% to close at $61.55 after the market learned that Medicare funding cuts would come in lower than expected. Rival Fresenius Medical Care (FMS) rose 7.2% on the same news.