Tags: European | stocks | 20% | 2013

Barron’s: European Stocks Could Soar 20% in 2013

Wednesday, 26 Dec 2012 10:50 AM

Stocks in crisis-weary eurozone countries could soar as much as 20 percent next year, according to Barron’s.

While the European debt crisis will drag on, economies elsewhere in the world, especially in the United States and in Asia, will improve and demand more goods and services from European companies.

Considering that stock prices have fallen to attractive levels, stock-picking opportunities could be ripe in European bourses even if macroeconomic conditions remain weak and growth seen nowhere on the horizon for countries like Greece and Spain.

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“So, is now a good time to buy European stocks? You bet. Despite lingering financial turmoil, doubts about the eurozone’s sustainability effectively have been put to rest. European companies are awash in cash, and many are positioned to benefit from growth beyond their borders,” Barron’s Jonathan Buck wrote.

“Not least, their shares are cheap, even though the Stoxx Europe 600 index has risen 15 percent this year, to a recent 280.95. Some investors think they could rally more than 10 percent, and perhaps as much as 20 percent, in the coming year.”

Many European companies have cleaned up their balance sheets during the recession and will enjoy demand abroad.

Companies identified by Barron’s as undervalued on a historical basis with exposure to international markets include Volkswagen, European Aeronautic Defence & Space, Rio Tinto, Roche, WPP, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, Deutsche Post, Vivendi, AXA and Enagás.

Some market watchers point out that the European Central Bank remains ready to buy sovereign debt in troubled European countries if need be, which has given investors courage to buy European stocks.

“The risk of some cataclysmic implosion has receded since the summer, and that is basically what has been driving stocks higher,” Bertie Thomson, senior fund manager at Aberdeen Asset Management, told the Financial Times.

“Risk premiums have fallen sharply.”

Other market watchers point out that stock pickers will find value in global equities markets in 2013.

“Market volatility will be a way of life in 2013, as Europe continues to work on solving its debt problems, China’s growth remains closely scrutinized, and the U.S. grows in fits and starts,” Morningstar analyst Heather Brilliant wrote in the firm’s Quarter-End Insights.

“In this environment, we think stock picking will make a comeback, and investors focusing on specific stock opportunities will do well given this backdrop.”

Editor's Note: The Final Turning Predicted for America. See Proof.

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Stocks in crisis-weary eurozone countries could soar as much as 20 percent next year, according to Barron’s.
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