The Spanish government and financial sector — and most of Europe for that matter — may not resolve their fiscal issues anytime soon, but some of Spain’s largest companies have managed to perform well despite the mess.
Well, a few of them anyway.
Believe it or not, the Ibex 35 (think DJIA for the Madrid Stock Exchange) is actually up on the year, and 16 of the largest 25 non-financial firms are reporting positive gains since January. From manufacturing to IT, these companies are trying to find ways to survive in the hot seat.
The future of the Spanish economy rests in the balance.
Specialty: Dabbles in energy (particularly solar), telecommunications
Market Cap: €1.794 billion
Revenue (2010): €5.566 billion
Stock Performance (YTD): 9.99%
Revenue Growth (FY 10): 34.22%
The Action: Abengoa is selling off subsidiaries and equity stakes left and right to pay off its Spanish debt, even after last year's sales amounted to a significant portion of its revenue. The company is trying to move into US and Latin American markets.
Specialty: Highways, telecommunications, airports
Market Cap: €10.918 billion
Revenue: €4.106 billion
Stock Performance (YTD): 11.71%
Revenue Growth (FY 10): 7.01%
The Action: Abertis is restructuring by selling off its massive, non-traded subsidiary Saba Infraestructuras for 400 million euros. 50% of its 2010 revenues came from outside Spain.
Specialty: Infrastructure and renewable energy. One of the top 5 producers of wind energy in the world.
Market Cap: €4.377 billion
Revenue (FY 10): €6.263 billion
Stock Performance: 37.57%
Revenue Growth (FY 10): -3.90%
The Action: Acciona's management recently reorganized control rights for the sake of liquidity and transparency. The company will likely depend increasingly on government subsidies as it expands its renewable energy business.
Specialty: Largest stainless steel manufacturing conglomerate in Spain.
Market Cap: €3.055 billion
Revenue (FY 10): €4.500 billion
Stock Performance (YTD): -5.68%
Revenue Growth (FY 10): 50.4% (but still negative since 2008)
The Action: Acerinox has been downsizing and making employee cutbacks to cut costs, but is ultimately waiting for a turnaround in the European markets.
Specialty: Construction, energy
Market Cap: €9.060 billion
Revenue (FY 10): €15.380 billion
Stock Performance (YTD): -11.22%
Revenue Growth (FY 10): 0.00%
The Action: ACS and its subsidiaries are selling off assets in order to provide liquidity. Its construction company Hochitef recently called itself 'Europe's premier construction company,' despite losing 169.5 million euros in the first quarter.
Specialty: One of the world's largest tourism ticketing and transaction processing companies
Market Cap: €6.244 billion
Revenue (FY 10): €2.683 billion
Stock Performance (YTD): -9.82%
The Action: Amadeus refinanced its debt in May in an attempt to regain some liquidity. Its close ties to the airline industry have caused the company to suffer recently, and consequently to consider strengthening ties with hotels and cruise ships.
Specialty: Rice, pasta, biscuits, and juice (YUM!)
Market Cap: €2.323 billion
Revenue (FY 10): €1.702 billion
Stock Performance (YTD): -2.40%
Revenue Growth (FY 10): 120%
The Action: Analysts across the board wax positive about Ebro's potential for growth. The company recently bought the rice division of rival SOS Grupo Alimentaria.
Specialty: The primary electric utility company of Spain, Chile, Argentina, Colombia, and Peru (also operates in the Mediterranean and Brazil)
Market Cap: €23.923 billion
Revenue (FY 10): €29.558 billion
Stock Performance (YTD): 16.20%
Revenue Growth (current): 8.70%
The Action: Endesa is on track to clean its accounts by 2014, but some analysts think it needs to do more to create value for its shareholders. It recently began a pilot project in Brazil and is investing heavily in renewable energy.
Market Cap: €3.820 billion
Revenue (FY 10): €966 million
Stock Performance (YTD): 7.54%
Regulated Revenue Growth (FY 10): 11.40%
The Action: Enagás has taken steps to get rid of its debt. More immediately, it is planning to transform itself into a holding company with two separate entities: gas and transportation. This will have a huge impact on its capital structure and introduce numerous control limitations.
Specialty: Construction, with a recent focus on energy
Market Cap: €2.278 billion
Revenue (FY 10): €12.114 billion
Stock Performance (YTD): 6.82%
Revenue Growth (FY 10): -4.6%
The Action: FCC is seeking as much liquidity as it can get as quickly as possible. Its leadership thinks that if it can restructure, pay a dividend and obtain a credit rating, capital markets will begin to see the company in a more favourable light.
Specialty: Infrastructure and engineering (One of its biggest subsidiaries -- BAA -- operates a number of European airports.)
Market Cap: €6.316 billion
Revenue (FY 10): €12.169 billion
Stock Performance (YTD): 16.61%
Revenue Growth (FY 10): 1%
The Action: Ferrovial sold off quite a few of its assets in 2010. The company does a majority of its business outside Spain, and has benefited from a recovery in air traffic since May; BAA reported a 9.2% increase in its airports' air traffic, in part because of the royal wedding in the UK.
Specialty: Making money off of wind
Market Cap: €1.329 billion
Revenue (FY 10): €2.764 billion
Stock Performance (YTD): -2.15%
Revenue Growth (FY 10): -14.4%
The Action: Like so many of the companies on this list Gamesa is still seeking liquidity, but for the sake of expansion rather than rectifying its accounts. 100 per cent of the wind turbines it sold in the first quarter and 93 per cent of those sold in 2010 went to foreign buyers. With the forthcoming abatement in Spanish subsidies, the company has focused on targeting Europe, China, and above all the US.
Specialty: Seriously. Its ticker symbol is GAS...
Market Cap: €13.080 billion
Revenue: €19.630 billion
Stock Performance (YTD): 24.11%
Revenue Growth (FY 10): 31.9%
The Action: Increased competition from competitors Iberdrola and BP is likely to make things tough for Gas Natural Fenosa, however the demand for energy in Spain continues to grow. The company is reportedly looking to move into wind power.
Specialty: Bio sciences (specifically, producing plasma derivatives) and medical devices
Market Cap: €3.017 billion
Revenue (FY 10): €990.7 million
Stock Performance (YTD): 38.24%
Revenue Growth (FY 10): 8.5%
The Action: With recent US approval of its takeover of Talecris, the Barcelona-based Grifols purports to be the world's third-largest player in blood-based products. More than two-thirds of Grifols's business comes from abroad, and it is also traded on the NASDAQ.
Market Cap: €5.203 billion
Revenue (FY 10): €14.798 billion
Stock Performance (13-week): -17.06%
Revenue Growth (Q1): 15.4%
The Action: International Airlines Group was formed in a merger between British Airways and Iberia early this year. In the discussion leading up to its formation, proponents of the deal touted the group's expansion opportunities. However, this expansion has not materialised. To date, the company's management seems more interested in cutting costs than growing the business.
Specialty: One of the largest electric and renewable energy companies in the world
Market Cap: €35.000 billion
Revenue (FY 10): €30.431 billion
Stock Performance (YTD): 5.86%
Revenue Growth (FY 10): 0.1%
The Action: Iberdrola recently absorbed Iberdrola Renovables in late May. Until then, the subsidiary was also publicly traded and part of the Ibex 35 and a world leader in developing renewable energy plants. Some have raised questions about the importance merged company will designate the activities of its former subsidiary.
Specialty: IT and defence systems
Market Cap: €2.157 billion
Revenue (FY 10): €2.557 billion
Stock Performance (YTD): 6.22%
Revenue Growth (FY 10): 2%
The Action: Indra Sistemas just became the primary satellite communication provider for Brazil, and is planning further expansion into Latin America.
Specialty: One of the world's largest fashion groups. Owns brands like Zara, Massimo Dutti, Oysho, Stradivarius, and more.
Market Cap: €39.636 billion
Revenue (FY 10): €12.527 billion
Stock Performance (YTD): 14.08%
Revenue Growth: 22.8%
The Action: Inditex celebrated 10 years as a publicly traded company in May, with shares growing 315% since its IPO. The company's revenue has grown steadily despite the financial crisis with the rising price of cotton and its expansion into Asian markets.
Specialty: Non-life insurance
Market Cap: €7.964 billion
Revenue (FY 10): €16.973 billion
Stock Performance (YTD): 24.24%
Revenue Growth (FY 10): 8.7%
The Action: MAPFRE reported revenue growth in many insurance products abroad and in auto insurance in general, and has generally reported stable or positive revenue results for the last few years.
Specialty: Power grids
Market Cap: €5.319 billion
Revenue (FY 10): €1.397 billion
Stock Performance (YTD): 14.20%
Revenue Growth (FY 10): 16.4%
The Action: Growing demand for electricity in Spain and abroad has afforded REE sustained growth. EBITDA grew 31 per cent in the first quarter of 2011, and the company plans to invest 4 billion euros in expanding its power network by 2015.
Specialty: Oil and gas, particularly in Spain and Argentina
Market Cap: €29.227 billion
Revenue (FY 10): €60.430 billion
Stock Performance (YTD): 14.27%
Revenue Growth (FY 10): 31.9%
The Action: Repsol's profits recovered in 2010 after posting poor numbers in 2009. With so many important renewable energy companies in Spain oil and gas have fallen out of favour, but they remain necessary given increasing power demands.
Specialty: Real estate and construction
Market Cap: €2.839 billion
Revenue (FY 10): €4.820 billion
Stock Performance (YTD): 50.39%
Revenue Growth (FY 10): -17.7%
The Action: Sacyr Vallehermoso is heavily in debt, although its profits increased seven per cent in the first quarter. It is also trying to maintain a 20 per cent equity stake in Repsol after the loan it took out to do so expires at the end of this year.
Specialty: Fifth largest telecommunications company in the world (and 68th largest company overall)
Market Cap: €74.553 billion
Revenue (FY 10): €60.737 billion
Stock Performance (YTD): -1.83%
Revenue Growth (FY 10): 7.1%
The Action: Telefónica's net income fell 1.9% in the first quarter of 2011 as it struggled in a poor domestic and macroeconomic market. The company will lay off 20% of its Spanish workforce in the hopes of winning back investors who might look more keenly at expansion into Latin American and Asian markets.
Specialty: Spain's largest TV network and production company
Market Cap: €2.329 billion
Revenue (FY 10): €855.1 million
Stock Performance (YTD): -26.68%
Revenue Growth (FY 10): 30.29% (but still down from 2008)
The Action: Mediaset -- also known as Telecinco -- has suffered dearly in the past few months as Spanish advertisers have begun to feel the pinch of the poor consumer market. The company is in danger of slipping further if advertisers revise their predictions about the value of airtime sales mid-year.
Specialty: General contractor for engineering, power, and industrial plants
Market Cap: €1.876 billion
Revenue (FY 10): €2.771 billion
Stock Performance (YTD): -25.84%
Revenue Growth (FY 10): 5.2%
The Action: Construction has crunched to a halt in Spain, and doubts about whether many of its contracts will be fulfilled have weighed heavily on Técnicas Reunidas's share price. The company is intent on expanding internationally, but it is unlikely that any major shift will happen quickly.