Several weeks ago, I brought to your attention a really “hot” stock Not only is this company growing by leaps and bounds, the market is affording the company significant leeway in the pursuit of its business plan.
The company I’m referring to is Focus Media Holding Ltd. (NASDAQ/FMCN) and the stock is up some 10 full points since mentioned in this column.
This company isn’t a burgeoning oil and gas play, nor is it “hot” precious metals stock. This company is a pure speculative play on China’s unbridled capitalism.
In a free economy, if you want to sell your goods or services, you usually have to do some form of advertising. In China’s main cities, the advertising industry has exploded serving the marketing needs of big corporations. In Focus Media’s case, it is operating the largest advertising network in China, using flat-panel screens to advertise customers’ products in supermarkets, on street corners, and even in elevators. This fast growing company has one of the biggest advertising platforms in China directed at white collar workers.
Not surprisingly, the stock has experienced a lot of upward momentum since its recent initial public offering in the form of American depository shares (ADS).
I really do think that there is room in speculative stock portfolios for some Chinese exposure. You just have to go where the big growth is. The difficult part right now is establishing criteria for relative valuation of Chinese stocks.
As an investment analyst, it is difficult to consider paying 50 times forward earnings for a company. Yet, in many respects, this is precisely what the astute market speculator should do. Valuation is important, but so is a stock that is going up in value. Right now, and over the next several years, Chinese stock market plays should be very lucrative for those investors who can stomach the risk.
Investors around the world, including institutional investors (we know you love to do it) are buying Chinese stocks based on emotion alone. Even if investors don’t know anything about what’s really happening in China, it’s the idea of the opportunity that is swaying investor sentiment right now. Using strong risk management within the context of balanced portfolio, I think a few Chinese stocks might just turn out to be a very wise move.