Saturday, August 24, 2013

Dragons or Earth Worms (China-Based Stocks)

When Bursa opened its door to China-based companies for listing, it was expecting for Chinese dragons, but instead it was getting only earth worms. The above screen shows all the China-based companies listed at Bursa. A close look at the screen shows that all the stocks are trading at ridiculously low PEs. Said to be the best stock in the group, Xinguan is trading at PE of 2.32, and a fundamentally sound stock, CSL is trading at PE of 1.34! Today I shall talk about CSL. If you are interested, please read on.

CSL is an integrated plastic stationery company. Its products are sold under its own brands of
Sakura, Nachi and Foldersys.

CSL's IPO price was 95 sen per share. The stock was listed on 24-2.2012. The chart shows that it hit a high of RM1.80 before sliding downhill all the way to the last traded price of 24.5 sen.
What is most interesting about this stock is that is CEO, Chan Fung has been dumbing it as early as 16 Jan 2013. On that day he sold 61,413,500 shares at 90 sen a share. This left him with a balance 831,586,500 shares. His other disposals were as follows:
18.1.13: Disposed 38,586,500 shares at 90 sen per share
21.3.13 Disposed 50,000,000 shares at 60 sen per share
03.5.13 Disposed 60,000,000 shares at 45 sen per share
12.7.13 Disposed 120,000,000 shares at 30 sen per share
25.7.13 Disposed 20,000,000 shares at 30 sen per share
15.8.13 Disposed 160,000,000 shares at 30 sen per share
At this rate of disposals by the CEO, is there any wonder that the stock has dived to such a low level of 24.5 sen? What's ridiculous is that the CEO & Chairman of CSL, Chan Fung, attributed the poor performance of CSL to bad publicity associated to the S-Chips accounting fraud scandal in Singapore. (China-based companies listed in Singapore are known as S-Chips) He said investors should not paint with broad strokes and assume that all Chinese companies are the same. He likened CSL as the elusive thousand-mile horse, hidden among a herd of other, more ordinary horses. He said this and yet he has been disposing off his shares. This is incredible!!!
On paper, fundamentally, the stock is great. AS at 31.6.13 it has current assets of RM2,622,457,000 of which RM2,070,254,000 is in cash. Its current liabilities stand at RM242.86 million of which RM54.4 million is borrowing.
As at 31.12.12, some key statistics of the stock were as follows:
Shares Issued: 1,242,760,588
Par Value: S$0.001
EPS: 19 sen
Dividend Paid: 3.4 sen
NTA: 98 sen
Chan Fung has said that this was a financially sound company. Yes, indeed it is, at least on paper. Its earning for the last six months is reported as 9.64 sen per share. This is slightly lower than the EPS of 10.86 sen for the corresponding period of the previous year.
Before you buy into this stock at below 25 sen per share, please bear in mind that China-based stocks are infamous for creative accounting. A little bit of fancy financial footwork can make everything look rosy. And don't forget that as many as 493 Chinese companies listed on the NYSE have been de-listed, according to data by Shenying Wanguo and The Wall Street Journal.
Now, have a good look at the daily chart of CSL shown below. After a big long slide, the stock has been moving sideway for quite some time with a bias in favor of lowering prices.

Until you see a reversal in the trend, best to avoid it until then. But if you are risk-tolerant, and wish to have some excitement, now maybe a good time to buy CSL. Whatever you do, please remember that you are 100% responsible for your own action.

As usual, you buy, sell or hold at your own risk. Good Luck.

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