A stock with 1 billion new India customers

Just 7% of Indians brush their teeth once a day, meaning big sales on the horizon for oral care companies there.

By InvestorPlace Apr 15, 2010 7:24AM

tooth care colgate palmolive india stockConsider this: Just 7% of all Indians brush their teeth at least once a day. If you’re thinking about personal hygiene, you’re probably grossed out.

But if you’re thinking about global investing you’re seeing dollar signs. It means more than a billion Indians haven’t yet begun a daily ritual that is already commonplace around the world!

There is one stock out there right now that has the Indian oral care business essentially cornered, with a whopping 50% market share. That means 600 million Indians are using this company’s toothpaste right now -- almost double the entire population of the U.S.!

That company is Colgate Palmolive India, or CLGT on the National Stock Exchange of India.

You no doubt know the parent company Colgate-Palmolive (CL),  since it’s listed on the U.S. stock exchange. And as a subsidiary of Colgate, CLGT does indeed impact the U.S. stock’s bottom line. But don’t think you have to settle just for investing in CL stock -- many brokers these days allow easy access to foreign stocks and listings in other countries. If this is the case with your brokerage firm, ask about Colgate Palmolive India. The fees are often higher for stocks listed overseas, but if you but CLGT India today you could likely be holding it for the next decade -- with significant growth year after year after year!

Let me break down the numbers a little further to show why this stock is a great buy:

Colgate India only rang up $300 million in oral care sales last year. That’s the equivalent of less than $1 dollar in oral care spending per Indian per year. By comparison, a developed country like the U.S. spends about $300 per capita per year on oral care. That’s almost $1 per day.

Calculations by Iain Little of the Global Wealth Institute show that revenues could quite easily grow five times higher in the next decade, and that profits could grow even faster. Let’s do a quick comparison of domestically traded Colgate-Palmolive and Colgate-Palmolive India: 

colgate palmolive india bar graphWhich company would you rather own?

While the parent Colgate is growing at 5% a year, a decent clip, the still-growing daughter Colgate-Palmolive India is cranking out 50% growth as far as the eye can see.

The bottom line: If you want to cash in on the Indian oral care boom, buy Colgate Palmolive -- and if your broker allows, buy Colgate India on the National Stock Exchange of India under the ticker CLGT.

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