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No. of Recommendations: 10
OK, I'll toss out a name I kinda love/hate: GDF Suez. It's traded as an ADR on Nasdaq pink sheets. That's about as challenging a venue as there is - ADR/pink sheets. One has to devote considerable time doing independent research in order to reach conclusions independently, because hardly any analysts follow the stock.

Here's a Bloomberg/BusinessWeek summary that's pretty decent (though still incredibly sparse):

Here's a link to the company's website:

Why do I love the company? It's a global UTILITY that provides a wide range of services including power generation via nuclear and natural gas. It provides energy services including gas and oil production/distribution. It provides conventional water distribution and water desalination plants. The range of services offered globally is mind-blowing.

Why did I invest in GDFZY? Because of the dividends! It's been paying dividends at yields of 10-15%. Granted, the French government gets a portion of that but, even so, the dividends have put a smile on my face over the course of the last three years.

Why do I hate it? Because I'm showing a 20% "unrealized loss" on my shares. Given that it's an overweight position in my portfolio, I get to contemplate those red numbers each and every friggin' day.

Why has it been pummeled to near death? Lotsa reasons. The Belgians ordered GDF to close its nuclear plant (although it appears that Belgium may reverse that decision). The French government limited the price GDF Suez could charge for natural gas at its gas-fired power plants. Just recently, the French courts have ruled that the limits were illegal and GDF will receive restitution. For its part, GDF gave the government the "one-finger salute" and simply shut down its French gas plants, opting instead to pursue other projects in more promising/profitable locales (e.g., the Middle East and South America). These GDF-ers aren't powder puffs.

Long story short, the company has been beaten bloody, but it still doles out a hefty dividend and insists it will continue doing just that. The current price is roughly half book. Based on a number of standard "value hound" considerations, the stock is cheap. Revenues in 2012 took a big hit for the reasons I mentioned, but the company remains as feisty and opportunistic as always.

I'm feeling bearish myself nowadays, so I haven't been buying much of anything. Even so, I kept adding GDFZY shares as the price came down. At present, the shares are trading near their 52-week low. Even though I think the Eurozone Markets can/will tumble significantly, I think GDF Suez has little downside left. Upside potential? Pretty good given its track record of exploiting opportunities. I can wait for as long as it takes as long as the company keeps doling out the divvies.

For anyone interested, be prepared to do a lot o' Googling. Be prepared to rely on Google's translator function to convert foreign language articles into a bizarre melange of pidgin English. This stock ain't for the squeamish or the time-constrained.

I like it but, hey, that's just me.
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