One of the fastest growing economies in the European Union, Ireland has flourished in recent years, while underpinned by a buoyancy in export and a rebound in domestic activity, growth in the country has surged to 15.2% in 2021. This coupled with the upbeat prospects given to the country by the European Commission, means that the Celtic Tiger has a positive forecast set for its future.
These favourable conditions certainly call for investing in Irish companies and their stock. And whereas Google (GOOG/GOOGL), Meta Platforms (FB) and Apple (AAPL) all have headquarters in the country, there are Irish companies that have spread their wings, making waves both home and abroad. Featuring consistent performance and remarkable growth, here we explore some of the top Irish stocks you may want to consider.
A manufacturer and distributor of building materials headquartered in Dublin, CRH was formed through a merger of Cement Ltd and Roadstone Ltd in 1970 and is a leading manufacturer and supplier of a diverse range of superior building materials and products used in the construction and maintenance of infrastructure, housing and commercial projects. A major supplier to the construction industry in the US, the company also has a strong positioning both in Europe and in Asia.
Employing 77,400 individuals at 3,235 locations worldwide, CRH is ranked as the largest Irish company, having steadily grown into an industrial powerhouse since its inception. Long pursuing an active acquisition programme spending as much as €1 billion in a single year, CRH typically targets small and mid-sized businesses to grow its international network of companies.
CRH went public in 1973 partly in order to boost the group’s expansion objectives, while it has secondary listings on the Irish Stock Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange. A Fortune 500 company, it forms part of the FTSE 100 index, the EURO STOXX 50 index, the ISEQ 20 and the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) Europe, while Group sales for 2021 topped $31.0 billion, marking a 12% increase compared to 2020 and 8% on a like-for-like basis. With earnings over the next few years expected to increase and the possibility for more robust cash flows, CRH’s stock could offer great potential for growth.
Click here to add CRH plc (CRH) to your portfolio.
Johnson Controls International plc
The merger of American company Johnson Controls and Irish Tyco International, Johnson Controls International plc is a multinational conglomerate headquartered in Cork, focused on developing energy solutions, integrated infrastructure and transportation system. Its technology and service capabilities include fire, security, HVAC, power solutions and energy storage, serving various end markets including large institutions, commercial buildings, retail, industrial, small business and residential.
Performing one of the largest tax inversions in history, the company has added more than $10 billion to its total revenue since 2016, while as of 2017, it was listed in the Fortune Global 500 and the Fortune 500. The year 2021 was pivotal in transforming the company into a smart buildings solutions leader, with sales topping $6.4 billions, a 7% increase compared to the prior year on an as reported basis, and up 5% organically. With forecasts indicating that the company will continue to see an expansion in its earnings, Johnson Control International is a company worth keeping tabs on.
Kerry Group plc
With a portfolio of popular household brands ranging from Denny, Cheestrings, Fridge Raiders and others, the Kerry Group plc is a provider of taste and nutrition solutions, serving the food, beverage and pharmaceutical industries. Despite its humble beginnings as an Irish dairy cooperative, the company has become the largest player in the ingredients and flavours market, with much of its journey so far marked by dynamic growth and strategic acquisition. With 150 deals struck to buy companies around the globe, the company is one of the largest businesses in Ireland.
Most notably, the company has delivered positive earnings growth in each of the last five years, while it has a relatively resilient business model as its ingredient business has increased at a consistent rate even during recession years. Revenues rose to €7.4 billion in 2021 on the back of strong overall growth in sales volumes, with the company’s Taste & Nutrition division in particular seeing volumes increase 8.3pc year-on-year, while in its Consumer Foods arm volumes increased 6pc.
The company went public on the Dublin Stock Exchange in 1986, while in April 1990, the Kerry Group was also listed on the London Stock Exchange. The company employs over 22,000 people in its manufacturing, sales and technical centres worldwide, counting 1,100 R&D scientists. With its strong financial position, scalable business model and excellent track record of successfully integrating new companies, the Kerry Group can provide a good mix of solid growth prospects and a resilient outlook.
Kingspan Group plc
Another Irish heavyweight in the building materials business, Kingspan is a global leader in high-performance insulation and building envelope solutions. Established at the back of brothers Eugene and Brendan Murtagh family’s pub in 1965 in Kingscourt, Country Cavan as an engineering and contracting business, the company grew and expanded into the insulated panels and rigid insulation board segment through the acquisition of companies, eventually branching out in Europe, South America, Singapore and Australasia.
Operating in 5 business divisions, Kingspan Group’s insulated panels segment manufactures panels, structural framing and metal facades, whereas the insulation boards segment produces rigid insulation boards, building services insulation, as well as engineered timber systems. On other hand, the light and air segment is engaged in manufacturing daylighting, smoke management and ventilation systems, while the water and energy sector produces energy and water solutions. Lastly, the data and flooring segment manufactures data centre storage solutions and raised access floors.
The group floated on the Irish Stock Exchange (ISE) in 1989 with a value of IR£20 million. Up until 2019, the stock has zoomed 172% in the previous five years, while the total dividend has also gone up which means that long-term shareholders would have managed to gain handsomely. Today Kingspan is a €6.5 billion revenue group with 198 manufacturing facilities employing over 19,000 individuals globally, while it trades in over 70 countries.
Bank of Ireland Group plc
One of the so-called traditional ‘Big Four’ Irish banks and historically the premier banking organisation in the country with a unique position in the Irish banking history, the Bank of Ireland is a commercial bank and one of the oldest ones in operation. Established by Royal Charter in 1783, it originally opened its doors to the public in a private house. A Forbes Global 2000 company, today the Bank of Ireland serves customers through its network of 264 branches and 1550 self-service devices, while it provides several banking and financial products and services in Ireland, the UK, as well as internationally. It operates through its Retail Ireland, Wealth and Insurance, Retail UK, as well as Corporate and Treasury segments.
In 2008, at the height of the financial crisis, Moody’s Investors Service changed the bank’s rating from stable to negative, after identifying its weakening asset quality and the impact the economic environment at the time would have on its profitability. In effect, in March of 2009, shares reached €0.12 during the day, reducing the company’s value by over 99% from its 2007 high. Since then, the bank has managed to turn things around, despite the current impact brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ireland’s largest bank by assets saw a substantial price movement on the ISE which gave investors a better opportunity to enter into the stock and potentially buy at a lower price. At the same time, in August 2020, its shares rose by 10%, showing some signs of recovery despite first-half pre-tax losses, spelling a potential positive outlook on the horizon. Indeed, in February of 2022, Bank of Ireland posted its biggest annual profit since the global financial crisis more than a decade ago and went on to announce that it is planning to return of 104 million euros ($116 million) to shareholders through dividends and buybacks.
How to invest in these top Irish stocks with Moneybase Invest
Ready to buy a share in one of these companies? Your first step to tapping into a world of investment opportunities with Moneybase Invest is to sign up and open an account.
To do so:
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. Your favourite Irish stock has been added to your portfolio.
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