How do I get exposure to the recovering US economy?

Investors who have owned US stocks in recent years have fared, on average, much better than their ASX focused counterparts.

While the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) is up just 2.4% and 27.6% over the past one and five years respectively, the S&P 500 has rallied 9.2% and 75.9% respectively.

Investors naturally have different theories as to why the US market has outperformed the Australian market so convincingly. In my opinion, the explanation is the comparatively stronger growth rates achieved by the post-GFC US.

Interestingly, a number of ASX-listed companies with large US operations have enjoyed share price out-performance.

Here are three outperforming US-exposed businesses to consider:

Amcor Limited (ASX: AMC) shares have rallied 17% and 128% over one and five-year time frames.

Amcor is a global packaging company and the single largest contributing country to its revenues is the USA. In financial year (FY) 2016, revenue generated from the USA amounted to US$2.9 billion out of a total group revenue of $9.4 billion. In comparison, Australia generated revenues of just US$333 million.

As a supplier of flexible and rigid plastic packaging solutions, Amcor’s key customer base sits within the fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) business.

A stronger US economy is good news for the FMCG sector and in turn for Amcor.

Brambles Limited (ASX: BXB) shares have rallied 19% and 81% over one and five-year time frames.

Brambles is a global leader in pallet and container pooling solutions. In FY 2016, the group’s “Pallets Americas” division recorded revenues of US$2.4 billion with the USA responsible for around US$1.5 billion of this revenue. The group’s total revenue came in at US$5.5 billion.

Meanwhile, “Pallets Americas” divisional underlying profits were US$428 million, implying that the division contributed around 43% of the group’s US$993 million in underlying profit.

With such a large portion of Brambles’ earnings coming from the USA, the performance of the US economy remains a key driver of Brambles’ results.

CSL Limited (ASX: CSL) shares have rallied 14% and 280% over one and five-year time frames.

CSL has grown from its home base in Australia to having operations and exports across the globe. Its global footprint is largely thanks to CSL’s world-leading life-saving therapies.

In FY 2016, CSL reported revenues from the USA of $2.4 billion which represented approximately 41% of the US$5.9 billion in total revenue.

While earnings aren’t split out on a regional basis, it’s fair to assume that given the revenue contribution, the USA is also a major contributor to CSL’s bottom line.

Like many developed countries, the USA is trying to cope with the growing demand for healthcare services. CSL’s significant exposure to the USA has it well placed to benefit from this trend.

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Motley Fool contributor Tim McArthur has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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