Stocks for your St. Patrick's Day portfolio

Seamus Conwell; special to

The Irish Prime Minister has handed over a bunch of shamrocks to President Donald Trump at the White House and the Cheltenham Horse Racing Festival is drawing to a close.

It must be March 17, otherwise known as St. Patrick's Day.

In honor of Ireland's patron saint, CNBC has called on Kensho to run the sliderule over some the country's companies to see which companies should be included in your St. Patrick's Day portfolio.

Shares in the following companies historically perform well over the holiday period and should keep Irish investors' eyes smiling.

Our study bought the securities at the two closest trading days before St. Patrick's Day and sold them again at the nearest two trading days after.

The overall Irish index (ISEQ) actually tends to fall over the period, dropping on average 1.2 percent.

Here are the top five individual performers.

Irish Continental Group (ICG)

Irish Continental Group (ICG)

ICG is a shipping and transport group probably best known as the operator of the Irish Ferries brand.

It owns and operates the largest car ferry on the Irish Sea, called "Ulysses" after the famous James Joyce novel.

The ship is the world's largest car ferry by capacity, capable of carrying over 1,300 cars and nearly 1,900 passengers.



CRH is the largest company on the Irish stock exchange by market capitalisation. It is the only Irish constituent of the Fortune 500 and it is also listed on the FTSE 100 in London.

CRH specializes in building materials and dominates the North American market: it suppled the materials for the Dallas Cowboys stadium in Texas. Last year, revenues came in at over 27 billion euros.

Shares in CRH have also benefited from speculation about who'll be the supplier for President Trump's proposed border wall.

Hibernia REIT

Hibernia REIT

Hibernia is a Dublin-based real estate investment firm with a billion-plus euro property portfolio.

The company owns over 760 square foot office space in the capital with key tenants such as Twitter, Bank of New York Mellon, Bank of Ireland and HubSpot.


Oliver McVeigh | Sportsfile | Getty Images

Kingspan is an energy conservation company specializing in insulation and environmental construction.

Mainland Europe accounts for 41 percent of its business with North America accounting for 20 percent.

Its materials have been used in projects such as the Olympic Stadium in London and its wind division has installed turbines at a polar research station in Antartica.


Michael O'Leary, chief executive officer of Ryanair Holdings Plc
Matthew Lloyd | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Outspoken Ryanair chief executive Michael O'Leary has placed the airline at the forefront of European aviation.

Ryanair traffic continues to grow at double-digit percentages year on year with a load factor consistently above 90 percent.

While the stock tends to rise over the St. Patrick's period, prolific horse owner O'Leary tends to be found at the Cheltenham racing festival.

What about Guinness?

Chris Ratcliffe | Bloomberg | Getty Images

While not an Irish stock, any company that holds the Guinness brand will always have a very strong Irish connection.

London beverage giant Diageo tends to trade slightly positive over the St. Patrick's Day period, averaging a slight rise of 0.12 percent.

While many investors would turn their nose up at such a small gain, others will raise their glass to any sign of green.

Seamus Conwell is a producer with CNBC. @SeamusConwell

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