Monday, July 09, 2007

Norway Stocks: More than just Vikings

Some facts about Norway:

1. Norway is rated the most peaceful country in the world, according to The Global Peace Index, compiled by The Economist magazine.
2. It is ranked number one in human development every year for the last five years.
3. It has the the second highest GDP per capita in the world.
4. It has the third highest purchasing power parity [PPP] per capita in the world.
5. The Norwegian government controls over 31% of publicly listed companies in the country.
6. The country has extensive natural resources, such as petroleum, hydropower, fish, timber, and minerals.
7. It has one of the one of the highest standards of living in the world.
8. It has a very low unemployment rate below 2%.
9. The hourly productivity levels are the highest in the world.
10. The average hourly wages in Norway are among the highest in the world.
11. It is the third highest exporter of oil in the world.
12. It has the has the largest capital reserve per capita of any nation.

DnB NOR ASA Ordinary Shares (DNBHF.PK) is Norway's largest banking and financial services group. Income for the first quarter was up 6.9 per cent from the first quarter of 2006. Net interest income for the quarter was up 10.3% year over year.

Norsk Hydro ASA (NHY) produces and markets oil, gas, and hydropower around the world. The P/E is 16.25, the PEG is 1.11, and it yields 1.7%.

Orkla AS Sponsored ADR (ORKLY.PK) was founded in 1654. It is an industrial conglomerate involved in branded consumer goods, speciality materials, and investment services. Revenues for the first quarter were up 11.1% and earnings per share were up over 38%.

Petroleum Geo Services ASA (PGS) is an oilfield and geophysical service company. The P/E is 11.13 and the P/S is 3.55.

Statoil ASA (STO) explores for, produces, and markets oil and gas. The P/E ratio is 10.8, the PEG is 2.03, and yields 1.8%.

Telenor ASA ADS (TELNY.PK) is a wireless telecommunications company with operations in Scandinavia, Eastern Europe and Asia. Revenues for the first quarter grew by 5% and EBITDA margin before other income and expenses was 32%.

Tomra Systems A/S/A (TMRAY.PK) manufactures and markets reverse vending machines, which sort and collect empty beverage containers that are used for recycling. Revenues for the first quarter of 2007 were down 3%. Operating profit and cash flow were down also.

Yara International SP ADR (YARIY.PK) is the largest mineral fertilizer and plant nutrient supplier in the world. Earnings per share for the first quarter of 2007 were up 32.5%, with a 14.9% increase in revenues.

Author does not own any of the above.

By Fred Fuld for

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