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Healthcare stocks are generally considered as defensive stocks. So investors looking for a place to hide in the current volatile equity markets can consider this sector. In this post let us take a quick look at some of the foreign healthcare equipment makers and service providers traded on the U.S. markets.

The universe of foreign healthcare equipment and services stocks is small. Ten companies are listed on the organized exchanges and another 11 sponsored ADRs trade on the OTC markets.

Foreign Healthcare Equipment Makers and Service Providers listed on the organized exchanges:

S.No. Company Name Ticker Country
1 China Kanghui KH China
2 China Medical Technologies CMED China
3 Concord Medical Services CCM China
4 Edap EDAP France
5 Fresenius Medical Care FMS Germany
6 Grifols GRFS Spain
7 ICON ICLR Ireland
8 Mindray Medical International MR China
9 Smith & Nephew SNN United Kingdom
10 Trinity Biotech TRB Ireland

Foreign Healthcare Equipment Makers and Service Providers traded on the OTC markets:

S.No. Company Name Ticker Country
1 Amil Participacoes S.A. OTC:AMPIY Brazil
2 Consort Medical OTC:CSRMY United Kingdom
3 Grifols OTCPK:GIKLY Spain
4 Halma OTCPK:HLMAF United Kingdom
5 Healthzone OTC:HLTZY Australia
6 Hikma Pharmaceuticals OTCPK:HKMPY United Kingdom
7 Medical Australia (MDAUY) Australia
8 Norwood Abbey OTC:NABYY Australia
9 OMI Holdings Limited (OCPMY) Australia
10 Raffles Medical OTC:RAFLY Singapore
11 Smiths Group OTCPK:SMGZY United Kingdom

Lyon, France-based EDAP TMS S.A. (NASDAQ:EDAP) is a maker of medical devices mainly for urological diseases. It develops and markets the Ablatherm device, an advanced choice for High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) treatment of localized prostate cancer. For 2Q, 2011 revenues came in at EUR 3.8 million compared to EUR 6.0 for the same period last year. At Friday’s closing price of $1.75, EDAP has a small market capitalization of just $23.o million.

Fresenius Medical Care (NYSE:FMS) is a German firm that provides a range of products for both treatment modalities, hemmodialysis and peritoneal dialysis, and is a full service provider of dialysis care. In August Fresenius announced plans to expand its presence in the U.S. dialysis market with the purchase of two U.S.-based companies - Liberty Dialysis and Renal Advantage and radiology center operator American Access Care Holdings – for a total of more than $2 billion. As a fairly large company Fresenius hopes to take advantage of pricing power in the U.S. market. At current prices, FMS has a $20.0 billion market capitalization and the stock pays a 1.35% dividend. While most equities are down this year, FMS is up about 17% YTD.

UK-based Smith & Nephew plc (NYSE:SNN) is a global medical devices maker operating in the orthopedics, endoscopy and advanced wound management markets. For the second quarter, the company reported revenues of $1,077 million, up 5% relative to second quarter of 2010. Smith & Nephew also reiterated its outlook for 2011 with strong growth in all the three divisions.

Among the OTC-traded ADRs noted above, Raffles Medical Group Ltd. (OTC:RAFLY) of Singapore looks interesting from an investment standpoint. Singapore has built a solid reputation in the healthcare business and medical tourism is projected to increase. With world-class facilities and easier access to many fast-growing Asian countries such as India, China and Indonesia, Raffles Medical should benefit in the years to come. Founded in 1976, the group is the largest private healthcare organization in Singapore and operates a network of family medicine clinics, a tertiary care private hospital, insurance services and a consumer healthcare division. It serves over one million patients and 5,500 corporate clients per year. Raffles operates a network of 74 multi-disciplinary clinics across Singapore, and four medical centres in Hong Kong and Shanghai. In addition, the group also manages the airport clinics in Singapore’s Changi International Airport and Hong Kong’s Chek Lap Kok International Airport. Located in the heart of Singapore, Raffles Hospital, the group’s flagship, offers a full complement of specialist services combined with advanced medical technology. The ADR is thinly traded and is about 8% down so far this year. For more information, please visit the corporate website here.

Disclosure: No Positions