Top German Stocks: Invest in top companies with Moneybase Invest

written on June 22, 2021

The largest economy in Europe and the fourth-largest in the world after the U.S., China and Japan, Germany boasts a large market, is driven by strong innovation and industrial production, it exports more than any other country besides China and the U.S., while its trade surplus consistently competes with that of China’s.

Surprisingly, the German economy shrank by 4.8% in 2020, among the smallest declines in Europe, despite the COVID-19 pandemic which caused the deepest recession since the 2008 financial crisis. The contraction was smaller than anticipated thanks to unprecedented government rescue and stimulus measures which helped lessen the shock of the pandemic. In fact, in 2020, the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) amounted to €3,332.23 billion, marking a smaller and less severe drop to the record contraction of 5.7% in 2009. On the other hand, the economy is expected to grow over 3% this year as coronavirus restrictions are lifted, while the outlook for 2022 is even more positive, with expected growth exceeding 5%.

If investing in the country sounds appealing, one way of doing so is to add some German stocks to your portfolio. Housing dozens of the world’s 500 largest publicly traded companies and featuring household names like Adidas (ADS), Bayer (BAYN), Siemens (SIE) and others, here is a rundown of the top German stocks.

How many stock exchanges are there in Germany?

The entire German stock exchange is made up of eight stock exchanges situated in various parts of the country. All significant to the world economy, among the world’s largest trading centres for securities is the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (FSE), which is located in Frankfurt and is both owned and operated by Deutsche Börse AG and Börse Frankfurt Zertifikate AG. With 90% of its turnover generated in Germany, namely at the two trading venues Xetra and Börse Frankfurt, the FSE is the largest of the seven regional securities exchanges in the country. On the other hand, the Stuttgart Stock Exchange is the second-largest exchange, with several importortant companies listed on it. In addition, the country’s 30 largest companies can be found in the DAX 30 Index.

Top German Stocks

SAP SE (SAP)

Headquartered in Walldorf, Germany, SAP is a tech giant, considered one of the largest non-American software companies by revenue and the world's third-largest publicly-traded software company by revenue. Particularly known for its ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software, SAP also provides machine learning (ML), Internet of Things (IoT) and advanced analytics technologies to businesses ranging from small and medium enterprises to global conglomerates.

For several years, SAP has generated multibillion dollar revenues on a quarterly basis. The COVID-19 pandemic boosted current trends in technology, accelerating the adoption of certain innovations like the work-from-home trend which fuelled demand for SaaS (software-as-a-service) based solutions. At the same time, investors poured money into cloud computing companies thanks to the industry’s growth prospects and low risk factors involved. Indeed, according to SAP’s financial reports, the largest share of its revenue stems from cloud and software sales, which accounted for €23.23 billion euros of its revenue in 2020.

Its stock was trading at $94.30 on March 20, 2020 once COVID reached pandemic status. It then marked a high of $166.72 on August 28, only to tumble down to $106.83 by October 30 after the release of disappointing third-quarter results which reflected both a shortfall of revenue and a cut in guidance. And to make matters worse, its Ambition 2023 strategy was ditched in favour of a fresh forecast for 2025.

However, since then, the stock has been climbing, currently trading at $140.91 on June 8, 2021. In 2020, SAP’s brand value was estimated at $57.58 billion, ahead of other global giants like the likes of Samsung (SMSN), Sony (SONY) and Hewlett Packard (HPQ). There’s also room for growth. Its cloud-based S/4HANA adoption, the largest generation of its Business Suite, reached 16,400 customers by the end of first quarter 2021. According to a market analysis by Markets and Markets, the global cloud computing industry was valued at $371 billion in 2020 and it is expected to reach a market value of $832 billion by 2025, marking a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17.5%. As more and more businesses are recognising the benefits of scaling in the cloud and SAP continues to grow its client base, the company’s margins should improve further.

Add SAP (SAP) to your portfolio today.

Volkswagen AG (VOW)

Known internationally as the Volkswagen Group, the company designs, manufactures and distributes passenger and commercial vehicles, as well as motorcycles, engines and turbomachinery, while it offers related services, including financing, leasing and fleet management. Maintaining the largest market share in Europe for over two decades, the company ranked seventh in the 2018 Fortune Global 500 list of the world’s largest companies.

Volkswagen’s sales in Germany have been somewhat flat over the past two years, however, Asia-Pacific has become the company's largest target market, with consumers in China and Hong Kong in particular, purchasing almost ten times as many cars as those in the U.S. In fact, according to Statista, both Volkswagen and other German car brands occupied 24% of the Chinese market’s share price between January and November of 2020.

The carmaker closed fiscal year 2020 stronger than expected despite the pandemic, thanks to its effective crisis management and recovery in its largest single market – China. Sales revenue amounted to €222.9 billion, while operating profit before special items reached a solid level of €10.6 billion. In addition, during 2020 the Group sold 9.2 million vehicles, increasing its global passenger car market share to 13%.

And Volkswagen is slowly becoming a heavyweight in the electric vehicle (EV) space, gathering speed as it heads towards the age of e-mobility. The company unveiled its EV roadmap which could see the company match sales of EV giant Tesla. According to Volkswagen, the aim is to offer at least one all-electric or hybrid version of its entire portfolio by 2030. To achieve this, the company is set to invest €50 billion in battery sell procurement over the coming years, while it aims to have around 80 new electric and plug-in hybrid models on sale by 2025. As part of its global e-offensive, 422,000 electric vehicles were delivered to customers, three times as many as in the previous year. Its electric SUV, the ID.4 is now selling across Europe, China and the U.S.

News of its roadmap was received positively, so much so that the Volkswagen stock has been going strong in 2021 so far, with retail investors flocking to the markets to get a piece of the company as prices have steadily risen from early January. As the resilience of EV sales in the face of the pandemic persists, Volkswagen is expected to grow further in this space and perhaps even steal the crown of other big competitors.

Interested? Buy Volkswagen (VOW) stock here.

Siemens (SIE)

A global technology powerhouse and the largest industrial manufacturing company in Europe, with several branch offices abroad, Siemens is known for its engineering excellence, innovation and reliability for more than 170 years. The company focuses on the areas of automation and digitalisation in the process and manufacturing industries, the intelligent infrastructure of buildings and distributed energy systems, smart mobility solutions for rail and road, as well as digital healthcare services.

Siemens has been in good financial shape so far in fiscal 2021. In its earnings release and financial results for the second quarter, the company reported net income and basic earnings per share (EPS) sharply higher at €2.4 billion and €2.82 respectively, while on a nominal basis, orders increased 11% to €15.9 billion, driven by double-digit growth in Siemens Healthineers. And while its R&D expenses were down, the intensity of its research was up, increasing year-on-year, which helped it mark significant growth in the number of patents registered between 2019 and 2020 - from 42,400 to 42,900. As for its stock, since the March 2020 lows when it was trading at €79.71 on March 11, 2020, the company has seen a significant share price rise, currently trading at €136.04 on June 8, 2021.

The company is also on track for a green future. It joined forces with Germany’s rail operator Deutsche Bahn to drive forward the transition to more climate –friendly transportation by testing the use of hydrogen for rail for the very first time. Set to cut carbon dioxide emissions, the rail operator aims to replace its 1,300 diesel-powered trains, ultimately becoming carbon-neutral by 2050.

With earnings expected to increase over the next few years, Siemens’ future looks optimistic and this should lead to more robust cash flows which may feed into a higher share value.

Invest in Siemens (SIE) with Moneybase Invest.

Allianz SE (ALV)

Founded in Berlin in 1890 but eventually moved its headquarters to Munich, Allianz provides property-casualty insurance, life and health insurance, as well as asset management products and services worldwide, while it is considered one of the world’s largest insurance and financial services company. Life and health insurance are the company’s most profitable segments, followed by property and casualty insurance.

All in all, Allianz’s revenue has fluctuated considerably between 2005 and 2020, with that of last year amounting to approximately €140.5 billion, roughly €2 billion less than the revenue reported in 2019. Having said that, the company kicked off the first quarter of 2021 on a strong footing as it continues to navigate the impact of the ongoing pandemic on the industry. The group saw strong performance across all its business segments, with a marked rebound in profitability in its property-casualty, as well as in its life and health business segment. In fact, the latter division reported the highest revenue in 2020, generating over €74 billion. Meanwhile, basic EPS increased 85.2% to €6.23.

Notably, despite the pandemic, Allianz made it to the fourth place of the largest insurance companies worldwide by market capitalisation as of May 2020, also topping the list for being the leading insurance company by brand value globally. At the same time, it has shown no signs of slowing down. In May 2021, the Group announced the completion of the acquisition of majority stake in Jubilee General Insurance in Kenya, while in March of this year, it agreed to purchase Aviva Poland, consolidating its leading position in Central Eastern Europe.

Head over to Moneybase Invest to add Allianz (ALV) to your portfolio.

Daimler AG (DAI)

Synonymous with the luxury Mercedes-Benz brand, the German multinational automotive corporation Daimler together with its subsidiaries, develops and manufactures a range of vehicles including passenger cars, trucks, vans and busses both locally and internationally. A heavyweight in the industry with a reputation for building outstanding vehicles, the company has been operating in the industry for more than 130 years. In 2021, Daimler is regarded as the second-largest German automaker and the sixth-largest worldwide by production.

The auto industry has shown tremendous resilience in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. From the economic depths experienced in the spring of 2020, the sector has rebounded to deliver year-over-year growth in new-vehicle sales over the last few months across China, Europe and the U.S. As expected, Daimler’s 2020 total unit sales of passenger cars and commercial vehicles decreased by 15% due to the pandemic, however, these lower vehicle sales were more than offset by lower costs and cash preservation measures. The company’s annual net profit in 2020 was up by 48% at €4 billion, whilst EBIT increased by 53% to €6.6 billion.

During the March pandemic lows, the stock dipped to its lowest point in five years, trading at just €22.80 on March 20, 2020. However, the stock has managed to gain immensely, currently trading at €78.79 as of June 10, 2021, which means that shares have increased by a staggering 153.5%.

And now, the brand that has served as a byword for luxury cars made in Germany but was slow to embrace electric mobility as many of its counterparts have, is shifting gears towards a carbon-neutral transport future. Although Daimler has not yet decided to stop combustion engine development, it plans, however, to make its cars entirely CO2-netural by 2039, opening the doors for the company to tap into a burgeoning market.

Head over to Moneybase Invest to buy Daimler (DAI) stock.

Deutsche Post (DPW)

A leading post and freight company with a network that spans over 220 countries and territories, Deutsche Post DHL Group has managed to mark impressive growth. Its postal division delivers approximately 61 million letters every single working day in Germany, while its express division under the DHL brand offers worldwide courier, express and parcel shipment service, combining both air and ground transport.

The Group posted a record in the past financial year despite significant challenges brought on by COVID-19. Revenue for the year increased by 5.5% year-on-year to €66.8 billion, while its operating income for the first quarter of 2021 surged by 221% compared to the first quarter of 2020, growing from €592 million as at end of March 2020 to €1,900 million as at end of March 2021.

With a strong focus on growing its core logistics businesses which have proven to be profitable so far and accelerating the digital transformation in all its business divisions, its eCommerce division which was created in 2019, proved to be a great winner, surging from a €6 million EBIT level to €115 million, up by €109 million on a yearly basis. Growth was also noted across all its underlying divisions, namely Global Forwarding Freight sector, DHL Express, as well as the Supply Chain division.

Another appealing factor to this stock is its dividend. Marking a consistent increase in its dividend payout year-over-year, part of its finance strategy is to pay out 40% to 60% of its net profits as dividends, while thanks to its positive business trend and strong free cash flow generation, the company also announced a share buyback programme of up to €1 billion.

With business to consumer growth expected to normalise within the course of 2021 and global business to business also anticipated to be on its gradual way towards recovery, Deutsche Post DHL is poised to retain its top spot in the industry.

Add DPW to your portfolio.

Merck & Co. Inc (MRK)

Founded in 1668, Merck is a German multinational science and technology company regarded as the world’s oldest operating chemical and pharmaceutical company, as well as one of the largest pharmaceutical firms in the world. A group of around 250 companies located in 180 countries, the company is divided into three business lines, namely Healthcare, Life Sciences and Performance Materials.

For much of 2020 Merck has been in the spotlight for its efforts to produce a COVID-19 candidate vaccine. Unfortunately, on January 25, 2021 it released a statement announcing that it had discontinued its COVID-19 vaccine research due to disappointing clinical trial results. Its stock tumbled 9.6% over that month, while its sluggish vaccine development in a highly competitive race contributed to an 11.8% decline in its stock price over the past year.

Yet, there is more to Merck than its attempt to create a vaccine. The company is a force to be reckoned with, boasting more than six blockbuster medications in its portfolio, such as Remicade, Implanon, Januvia, Keytruda and others. The latter, has played an instrument role in driving Merck’s steady revenue growth in the past few years, with nearly a third of sales, 32% to be exact, stemming from cancer treatment Keytruda, whose sales grew 19% to $3.89 billion.

Meanwhile, revenue from blockbuster diabetes medicine Januvia inched 1% higher to $1.26 billion. According to analysts, the company is on track to possibly achieve nearly $16 billion in sales in 2021 and by 2026, Merck is expected to do $24.32 billion annually in sales. Despite its COVID woes, clearly, the company’s financials are robust and with 350 years of experience under its belt, its growth potential is nonetheless very promising.

Interested? Buy Merck & Co Inc (MRK) stock here.

Adidas AG (ADS)

It’s known for its sport and clothes-related goods that showcase the trademark three parallel lines which founder Adolf Dassler had to buy in 1952 from Finish sports company Karhu Sports for the equivalent of €1600 and two bottles of whiskey. Since its inception, adidas has become the largest sporting goods manufacturer across Europe and the second largest worldwide, only trumped by long-term competitor Nike. The brand was rated amongst the most valuable German brands in 2019, while its two subsidiaries, Reebok and TaylorMade, have made a name for themselves, the former as a global sports brand, while the latter as an important store and supplier for the golf business.

With a market cap of €58,93 billion as of June 10, the stock was rallying back in May as the company made news for raising its 2021 outlook. Indeed, adidas seems to have weathered the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic, managing to increase sales of its footwear by 31% during the first quarter of 2021. And while lockdowns impacted its store opening rate in Europe which fell below 50% in March 2020, adidas’ eCommerce sales rose by 43% worldwide after its online sales operation was able to ramp up to meet pandemic demand.

In February the company announced that it is resuming its dividend payments. Reflecting the company’s strengthened financial profile, as well as management’s positive outlook for the current year, the brand paid a €3 share dividend on May 18. Meanwhile, adidas stock has rallied nearly 67% over the past year, trading at t €173.08 on March 13, 2020 during the onset of the pandemic, yet since then it has been on an upward trajectory, currently trading at €293.75.

With strategic partnerships, including a deal signed with U.S. watchmaker Timex and its plans to sell off Reebok, adidas’ coffers are set to be boosted further which may help its share price strengthen even more.

Head over to Moneybase Invest to buy Adidas (ADS).

Bayer AG (BAYN)

Headquartered in Leverkusen, Germany, Bayer is a life science company with core competencies in the areas of health care and nutrition, while its main areas of business include human and veterinary pharmaceuticals, consumer healthcare products, agricultural chemicals, seeds and biotechnology products. In 2018, the company acquired U.S. seed giant Monsanto for $63 billion.

The acquisition afforded Bayer with the strongest portfolio of seed and crop protection products, as well as the best research and development platform. But it came at a cost. Among the various agricultural products, Monsanto also sells the world’s most popular and widespread herbicide, glyphosate, which according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), it was declared a probable carcinogen. As a result, there are now thousands of lawsuits around the world against Monsanto, for which Bayer is now liable.

This has caused many investors to shy away from its stock. But although Bayer’s litigations woes are ongoing, its fundamentals appear to be quite strong. In Q1 of this year, group sales were up 2.8%, reaching $12,328 million, while its net income increased to €2.1 billion. It also registered an increase in sales of its best-selling blood-thinner Xarelto, largely as a result of significantly expanded volumes in China and Russia.

And there’s more good news. The company’s pharma pipeline is growing bigger and this could spell good news for investors. In 2020 alone, Bayer completed more than 25 acquisitions and collaborations. One of the most important of its collaborations is certainly that with CureVac. Under the terms of the agreement, Bayer is set to support the further development, supply and key territory of CureVac’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate CVnCoV. At the same time, it is increasingly strengthened its activities in cell and gene therapies.

Add Bayer (BAYN) to your portfolio.

How to invest in German stocks

Ready to buy a share of these top German stocks? Your first step to tapping into a world of investment opportunities with Moneybase Invest is to sign up and open an account.

  • Download the app from either Google Play or the Apple App Store. Alternatively, you may access Moneybase Invest on your desktop by visiting https://live.cctrader.com/
  • Once you’ve onboarded successfully and have funded your account, head over to the search bar at the top of your screen and input either the company name or ticker symbol.
  • Select the instrument of your choice from the list and then click on the Buy button on the window located at the bottom of your screen.
  • On the New Order page, input the number of shares you would like to purchase and hit the Place Buy Order. The stock has been added to your portfolio.


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The contents of this article are not intended to be taken as a personal recommendation to invest but strictly based on research and for information purposes only. Retail investors should contact their financial adviser for a suitability assessment prior to taking any investment decisions.

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