6 European Stocks Resistant to Debt Crisis

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- With Italian bond yields spiking above 7%, spooking markets around the world and leading to a 300-plus point drop in the Dow Jones Industrial Average on Wednesday, TheStreet searched for European companies trading in U.S. markets that might be safe from an escalating European debt crisis .

As European bank stocks like Barclays ( BCS), Deutsche Bank ( DB) and HSBC ( HBC) fell more than 8% in early trading, clearly some of Europe's largest companies trading in the U.S. aren't resistant to spiking fears about sovereign debt contagion.

Nevertheless, in combing through some fear-resistant sectors and companies with businesses not entirely dependent on Europe, TheStreet has found a few eurozone giants that could weather an escalating crisis.

Even as the sovereign debt crisis continues to roil U.S. markets on a daily basis, overall it hasn't caused 2011 to be a big losing year on the Dow or S&P 500 -- it's also caused U.S. Treasury bond yields to fall to record levels below 2% signaling that America is still an investor haven in times of crisis.

While beer, cigarettes and drugs are always in vogue regardless of economic conditions, we've also found six bellwether companies with sales mixes that won't sink or stink in a euro crisis. Read on.

Anheuser-Busch InBev ( BUD), the Belgium and Brazilian beer conglomerate and largest beer company in the world after a $50 billion merger in 2008 with American beer legend Budweiser, is a safe place to hide for europhobic investors. Headquartered in Brussels, which also houses the European Union headquarters and is its de facto capital, InBev now gets nearly half of its total $36.3 billion in annual revenue from North America after its purchase of Anheuser-Busch, which brought its eponymous St. Louis-based Budweiser brand into the ownership of the Belgium and Brazilian beer conglomerate.

Compared with its hard alcohol-selling peer Diageo ( DEO), which sells Guinness stout, Johnny Walker whiskey and Captain Morgan rum, Anheuser-Busch InBev earns a higher percentage of sales in North America, which through the worst of the multiyear financial crisis has been a haven. Anheuser-Busch InBev earns $15.3 billion in North America, more than 42% of overall global sales, while just over 10% come from Western Europe. Meanwhile, Diageo earns just a third of its near $10 billion in overall sales in the North America, which is only slightly higher than the 26.3% of sales it earns in Europe.

There are risks even in North America, however. On Wednesday, Anheuser-Busch InBev missed its third-quarter revenue estimates because of slowing U.S. and European sales. It's also fallen just over 1% year to date, while Diageo's up nearly 13% in 2011 even as the European debt crisis escalates. Still, if you're concerned that Europe's economy will go into a tailspin, then the King of Beers might better slake your investing palate.

With the ticker "UN," it's appropriate that Unilever's ( UN) sales aren't Europe-dominated despite its 126- year European heritage and headquarters based in Rotterdam, the Netherlands and London. Since 2008, Unilever's Asian and African sales have grown at an average of 22% to $17.7 billion, the company's largest revenue base.

The consumer goods conglomerate that sells Dove Soap, Lipton Tea and Ben & Jerry's ice cream isn't so vulnerable to a "Dublin Mudslide" in Europe or a "half baked" solution to its debt crisis. Out of $44.2 billion in annual sales, Unilever earns $14.6 billion in the Americas and just $12 billion in Europe, less than 30% of overall sales.

The diversification of Unilever's foods, personal care and home care business as well as its growth in Asia and Africa have bolstered company shares even as markets deteriorated in Europe. Unilever's gained over 5.5% in 2011 even as the S&P 500 and FTSE 100 have fallen this year.

Even if Europe sinks amid a sovereign debt and bank capital spiral, Southampton, England-based Carnival Cruise Lines ( CCL) will float to safety on its North American revenue, which accounts for more than half of its $14.5 billion in overall annual sales.

The cruise and passenger ship line with a European legacy that stretches back to the 1820s operates the iconic British Princess and Orient and Dutch Holland America ship lines, but has found its biggest business in the U.S. While its shares have fallen nearly 30% this year as investors question whether, amid debt fears, consumers will want to spend on cruises its outperformed Miami-based competitor Royal Caribbean Cruises ( RCL). The company's revenue of $14.5 billion and gross profit of $7 billion are nearing 2008 peaks, signaling that if the worst of economic fears weren't to materialize, the company might be a rebound play.

If Italy were to create a contagious crisis in the eurozone, investors may still find a lucky strike in British American Tobacco ( BTI). The London-based cigarette-seller is up nearly 20% this year, outperforming all U.S. and Western European indices, proving once more that in times of fear, consumers and investors flock to the comfort of smokes.

With its Lucky Strike brand founded in the 1870s that's featured on AMC Network's ( AMCX) Mad Men and in the tunes of Billy Joel, British American Tobacco counts on North America for $3.5 billion of its overall $14.9 billion in annual sales. With $5 billion in annual sales, Europe accounts for nearly 35% of overall revenue.

Signaling that cigarettes are getting a buzz from bleak economic times, British American Tobacco's sales in Europe, the Americas and Asia have all grown since the onset of the financial crisis in 2007. Overall, its operating profits have grown 64.6% since 2007 to $4.9 billion.

Even if Italy's vote on austerity measures and the replacement for Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi don't give you chest pains, London -based drug maker AstraZeneca ( AZN) may be a safe place to hide. The maker of heart drug Crestor has seen its shares stay relatively flat since the beginning of 2008 even as the world's been gripped by a global financial crisis not seen since the Great Depression.

The company currently earns more than half of its $33.3 billion in annual sales from the Americas and has seen record operating profits of more than $11 billion since the financial crisis. Compared with rival Germany drugmaker Novartis ( NVS), AstraZeneca has seen shares fall just over 1% this year compared with over 6% for the maker of Diovan. Out of $50.6 billion in annual sales, Novartis generates just 31% of sales from the U.S.

Dublin-based Accenture ( ACN) has been an emblem of its motto "High performance. Delivered" -- as has its German consulting competitor SAP ( SAP). Both of the management, tech and outsourcing consulting giant's shares are up nearly 20% in 2011, even as some of its clients, which include governments and corporations, struggle under the weight of the European debt crisis.

Accenture, initially called Andersen Consulting, was formed in 1989 from the Chicago-based Arthur Andersen accounting firm to help businesses manage large technological systems and business processes. In 2001, after Arthur Andersen was caught up in the Enron accounting scandal, its consulting business changed its namesto Accenture and launched what it calls one of the "most successful rebranding campaigns in corporate history."

Currently, Accenture gets more than a third of its $27.3 billion in annual revenue from the Americas, which is its largest region for doing business. The company has also grown its Asia Pacific sales to nearly $3.4 billion since 2007. According to its Web site, Accenture now has nearly 236,000 employees consulting businesses in more than 120 countries.

Meanwhile, Weinheim, Germany-based SAP, founded in the 1970s, has a greater portion of sales tied to Europe, nearly 50% of $12.5 billion in overall sales. Even with a spiraling debt crisis, its IT consulting and software manufacturing businesses have held firm, reflecting resilience.

>>To see these stocks in action, visit the 6 European Stocks Resistant to Debt Crisis portfolio on Stockpickr.

-- Written by Antoine Gara in New York