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With the debt crisis in Europe reaching panic levels, and stocks plunging because of it, there are great opportunities to buy shares of some of the largest and most stable companies based in Europe. Oliver Pursche, manager of the GMG Defensive Beta Fund thinks the decline is overdone and states:

The European story is a little bit overdone. You have to bifurcate between southern Europe and northern Europe. Everything is being dragged down as a result of the Greek debt crisis. That's going to play itself out in the coming weeks and we are finding some pretty attractive values in Europe as a result of the overall sell-off.

Read more on that and the stocks he likes here:
Here are a number of European dividend stocks that look like bargains now:
National Grid Transco (NYSE:NGG) operates an electricity transmission network in England, Scotland, Wales, and the Eastern United States. They also operate a gas national transmission system in Great Britain, and storage facilities for liquefied natural gas amongst other things. This company pays a very generous dividend and can raise prices as inflation rises in the future.

Here are some key points for NGG:
  • Current share price: $48.22
  • The 52 week range is $37.65 to $52.18
  • Earnings estimates for 2011: $4.07 per share
  • Earnings estimates for 2012: $4.51 per share
  • Annual dividend: $3.80 per share which yields 8.3%

Veolia Environnement (NYSE:VE) is based in France and is a leading provider of water, recycling, environmental services, waste collection and processing etc., with operations worldwide. Veolia stock has been hit very hard over the crisis in Europe, and now offers a very rich yield of about 10%. The services Veolia provides are basic necessities and will continue to be needed in any economic situation.

Here are some key points for VE:
  • Current share price: $16.78
  • The 52 week range is $13.68 to $33.86
  • Earnings estimates for 2011: $1.86 per share
  • Earnings estimates for 2012: $1.96 per share
  • Annual dividend: $1.47 per share which yields about 10%
Total SA (NYSE:TOT) is a major integrated oil company, based in France with operations worldwide which include refining, exploration, and service stations. Total stock has been declining based on lower oil prices and debt concerns in Europe. It now trades at a very cheap price to earnings ratio of about 6.5 and pays a strong dividend.
Here are some key points for TOT:
  • Current share price: $47.11
  • The 52 week range is $43.81 to $64.44
  • Earnings estimates for 2011: $7.61 per share
  • Earnings estimates for 2012: $8.02 per share
  • Annual dividend: about $3.20 per share which yields 6.5%
Vodafone Group PLC (NASDAQ:VOD) provides mobile communications services including voice, data, Internet, etc., and is based in Europe. Even if times get tough in Europe, people are not going to give up their phones, so the sell-off in this stock seems to be unwarranted, especially with a yield approaching 8%.
Here are some key points for VOD:
  • Current share price: $27.08
  • The 52 week range is $22.95 to $29.75
  • Earnings estimates for 2011: $2.92 per share
  • Earnings estimates for 2012: $3.25 per share
  • Annual dividend: about $1.92 per share which yields 7.6%
Unilever PLC (NYSE:UL) is based in the United Kingdom, and makes some very popular food products with brand names such as Ben & Jerry's, Knorr, Hellman's, Wish-Bone, Amora, Ragu, Bertolli, Vaseline, Suave, Slim Fast, Dove, and many others. These products will remain in demand regardless of what happens to sovereign debt in Europe.
Here are some key points for UL:
  • Current share price: $32.90
  • The 52 week range is $25.90 to $33.40
  • Earnings estimates for 2011: $2.29 per share
  • Earnings estimates for 2012: $2.51 per share
  • Annual dividend: about $1.28 per share which yields 4.2%
Sanofi-Aventis (NYSE:SNY) is a French pharmaceutical giant and now trades for about 7 times earnings and offers a dividend yield of over 4%. Earlier this year, these shares traded regularly for $37 to $40, so there is upside while you collect the dividends.
Here are some key points for SNY:
  • Current share price: $34.41
  • The 52 week range is $28.03 to $40.74
  • Earnings estimates for 2011: $4.84 per share
  • Earnings estimates for 2012: $4.67 per share
  • Annual dividend: about $1.32 per share which yields about 4.2%

Data is sourced from Yahoo Finance. No guarantees or representations are made. Hawkinvest is not a registered investment advisor and does not provide specific investment advice. The information is for informational purposes only. You should always consult a financial advisor.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.
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