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AstraZeneca plc (ADR) (AZN), Sanofi SA (ADR) (SNY): Don’t Ignore These European Healthcare Stocks

Like Novartis, France-based Sanofi SA (ADR) (NYSE:SNY) performed admirably last year, which proved difficult due to the struggling European economy, in addition to patent expiration. Total sales grew half of one percent, even though the company lost more than 1.3 billion euros due to generic competition.

Going forward, management expects the company’s difficulties to continue this year. Sanofi SA (ADR) (NYSE:SNY) projects 2013 earnings per share to be flat to down 5% for the full year, due primarily to residual impacts from the company’s loss of Plavix and Avapro exclusivity in the United States.

That being said, the company’s troubles certainly aren’t being reflected in the stock price. Sanofi SA (ADR) (NYSE:SNY) has skyrocketed 43% over the past 52 weeks and currently sits near all-time highs, and that doesn’t even include the hefty 3.3% dividend.

The Foolish bottom line

For investors looking for international competitors of the familiar healthcare giants in the United States, these companies are a good place to start. These stocks offer reasonable valuations and huge dividend yields that are greater than the broader market as well as most industry peers.

It’s worth noting that these companies are based in Europe, and as a result, have significant exposure to the shaky European economy. That being said, these multi-nationals performed admirably in a tough 2012 environment, indicative of their strong product pipelines and global reach.

At the same time, investors are being paid handsomely to wait for the global economy to return to more solid footing. Should the European economy in particular finally show some strength, these companies may be set up very well going forward. As a result, income investors will want to keep these names on your watch list going forward.

The article Don’t Ignore These European Healthcare Stocks originally appeared on and is written by Robert Ciura.

Robert Ciura has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Robert is a member of The Motley Fool Blog Network — entries represent the personal opinion of the blogger and are not formally edited.

Copyright © 1995 – 2013 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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