Mama Mia! Keep an Eye on These Italian Stocks

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(List compiled by Becca Lipman)

It's hard to say who's going to end up on top in the snowballing global economic crisis, but one thing's for sure, it's not going to be Italy. 

Italy's been seen as the country next in line to Greece to aggravate the European Union's debt burden, right alongside Spain, Portugal and Ireland. This speculation is well earned.. Italy's debt, which in the ballpark of $2.5 trillion, is nothing to sneeze at. 

The problems the led to Italy current predicament are numerous.

Origins range from the more modern economic mistakes such as having few large, publicly owned companies, arduous barriers to entering the workforce, and "little industrial presence in chemicals, pharmaceuticals, computers, and even food processing" to the deeply routed cultural traits that adversely affect the country's growth.

This includes the prominence of private family-owned businesses, an unwillingness to relocate for work, and a tendency to take the summer months off work. Oh, and theirpopulation is shrinking. 

Now Italy is likely to default and intends to ban short selling until the markets calm, a signal that the country's economy is crashing big time and they know it. 

All eyes are on Germany to save the day. Will they? Is it worth it? 

Interested in trading Italian stocks? Below we list the 5 Italian companies trading on U.S. markets. Do you think these companies will suffer the same fates as their debt ridden homeland, or can they prosper?

Use the list below as a starting-off point for your own analysis.

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1. Eni SpA (E): Major Integrated Oil & Gas Industry. Market cap of $68.99B. Current price at $36.13. ENI explores for, produces, refines, transports and markets natural gas, oil and produces chemicals. ENI offers engineering and project management services to the petroleum industry operating in 80 countries. The stock is currently stuck in a downtrend, trading -14.03% below its SMA20, -18.48% below its SMA50, and -20.5% below its SMA200. It's been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 15.71% over the last week.

2. Gentium S.p.A (GENT): Drug Manufacturers Industry. Market cap of $119.91M. Current price at $9.09. Gentium, S.p.A., located in Como, Italy, is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the research, development and manufacture of drugs to treat and prevent a variety of vascular diseases and conditions related to cancer and cancer treatments. This is a risky stock that is significantly more volatile than the overall market (beta = 3.06). It's been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 13.87% over the last week.

3. Luxottica Group SpA (LUX): Specialty Retail, Other Industry. Market cap of $12.61B. Current price at $28.59. Luxottica Group is the world leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of high quality eyeglass frames and sunglasses in the mid and premium priced market segments. The Company's products, which are designed and produced in four facilities based in Northern Italy, include over 1,700 styles available in a wide array of colors and sizes. The stock is currently stuck in a downtrend, trading -6.29% below its SMA20, -7.32% below its SMA50, and -5.43% below its SMA200. It's been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 9.94% over the last week.

4. Natuzzi SpA (NTZ): Home Furnishings & Fixtures Industry. Market cap of $167.29M. Current price at $3.12. Natuzzi Spa, through its subsidiaries, designs, manufactures and markets contemporary leather furniture. The Company markets love-seats, sofas, arm-chairs, sectional furniture and sofa beds in the low to medium price range. Industrie Natuzzi manufactures its furniture in Italy and exports about 97% of it to major retailers and furniture stores in the United States and Europe. The stock is currently stuck in a downtrend, trading -6.49% below its SMA20, -9.69% below its SMA50, and -16.59% below its SMA200. It's been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 7.01% over the last week.

5. Telecom Italia SpA (TI): Diversified Communication Services Industry. Market cap of $22.14B. Current price at $11.99. The Telecom Italia Group is engaged principally in the communication sector that operates mainly in Europe, the Mediterranean Basin and South America. This includes telephone and data services on fixed lines, the development of fiber optic networks for wholesale customers, BroadBand services, Internet services, domestic and international mobile telecommunications (especially in Brazil), and the television sector using both analog and digital terrestrial technology. Might be undervalued at current levels, with a PEG ratio at 0.91, and P/FCF ratio at 6.92. It's been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 5.32% over the last week.



The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.



This article appears in: Investing , Investing Ideas , Stocks

Referenced Stocks: E , GENT , LUX , NTZ , TI

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