Domestic equity exposure is the primary focus of investors living in the United States, and for good reason: they are better familiar with U.S. firms and the economy of their own country. With that acknowledged, there are some interesting developments going on outside of the United States that should not be disregarded. European stocks, in particular, have been constantly surging to new all-time highs, and now may be a good moment to diversify your portfolio by adding foreign exposure.
Many of the same themes that are prevalent in U.S. markets, such as the reopening of the economy and optimism around the mass distribution of vaccinations, are benefiting European stocks. There's also a fresh wave of share repurchases by European firms, which could help to increase prices in the coming months, and investors should consider the Euro's gain vs the dollar's weakening. These are all compelling reasons to invest in top European equities now, which is why we've compiled a list of three European stocks to buy 2021 for international exposure below.
Novo Nordisk is a Danish pharmaceutical firm that is the world's largest supplier of diabetes-related goods. It's a company that has built a large economic moat, with close to 50% market share by volume of the worldwide insulin industry. Unfortunately, diabetes is a chronic disease that needs regular care, thus Novo Nordisk will continue to enjoy stable sales for many years. When you consider that obesity is a global health problem that affects countries all over the world, it's reasonable to predict that Novo Nordisk will continue expanding its sales for many years to come.
Saxenda, one of the few FDA-approved obesity medications, has swiftly become the world's top obesity drug by sales and might be a great long-term growth engine for the firm. Novo Nordisk's dividend has been growing for over a decade, and it presently yields 1.76 per cent, which is another compelling reason to consider investing.
Unilever is a global consumer goods company and one of the world's major producers of personal care products. Investors may be confident that this company's products will always be in high demand since it offers a diverse variety of home and personal care items, as well as food categories, to over 2.5 billion customers. It's a fantastic European option for more cautious investors looking for a high-quality dividend payer, since the stock now yields an excellent 3.28 per cent.
Unilever has significant brands such as Dove, Hellman's, Axe, and Vaseline, and has a history of pursuing high-growth acquisition possibilities, such as the recent purchase of Dollar Shave Club, a men's grooming company.
Last but not least, ASML Holding NV, based in the Netherlands, is a prominent semiconductor production equipment provider. The firm services both memory and logic clients and counts all of the leading chipmakers as customers. Photolithography systems, which are critical in the chip manufacturing process, are ASML's main products. In addition, the firm is developing Extreme Ultraviolet Lithography, which might one day allow chipmakers to manufacture more powerful processors than ever before.
There are plenty of interesting new prospects for a firm like ASML to expand, whether it's 5G networks, big data, autonomous driving, or artificial intelligence. The firm announced Q1 profits that beat forecasts, with sales of €4.36 billion, up 3% year over year, and the chip scarcity should continue to benefit the company through 2021.