Friday, October 29, 2004

The Best Analysts: International Bets

WASHINGTON, D.C. - If you're looking to invest outside the U.S., here's one way to go about it. Start with international stocks listed on U.S. exchanges. Then tap into the expertise of Wall Street's most accurate analysts.

The first part of the equation is easy enough. You can buy shares of foreign corporations traded on U.S. exchanges via American Depositary Receipts, which are certificates issued by U.S. banks acting as the depositary for shares in the non-U.S. companies. Although ADRs don't eliminate currency risk, these securities are as easy to trade as shares of U.S.-headquartered companies. Dividends from some issues may be subjected to a foreign withholding tax, but U.S. investors receive net distributions in American currency.

And the accurate analysts? For that we turn once again to our friends at San Francisco's StarMine. Since 1998, the firm has specialized in identifying brokerage analysts with track records for correctly forecasting profits. The technique enables StarMine to create a "SmartEstimate," or an estimate that is weighted to timely calls from accurate analysts.

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