For many parts of the world, the good times are rolling. While the U.S. economy has been doing quite well lately, so too has the global economy.
Of course, not all nations are experiencing strong growth, but many are doing well and as a whole, the world is improving. Big nations are moving in the right direction. And the S&P 500 has been scorching higher on that strength.
But like I said, not everyone is experiencing that growth. And emerging markets stocks? Many of those have been left in the dust. You can see this in the significant decline in Chinese equities.
So, is it worth poking around this market and looking for stocks to buy? Here are five names you should at least give a look.
I don’t know what to say about JD.com (NASDAQ:JD) other than the stock has been absolutely decimated. With a 52-week high just over $50 and with the stock now under $25, JD stock is officially down more than 50% from its January highs.
We called out a possible bounce trade or two, but warned investors to keep a tight leash on JD. If the trade didn’t pan out, they needed to bail. We’ve seen this with FedEx (NYSE:FDX), Snap (NYSE:SNAP), General Electric (NYSE:GE) and many others. Discipline is key when it comes to the stock market. In any regard, when was near $32, I started looking at the low $20s, thinking there’s no way it can get there. Now under $25, perhaps that $22 to $23 area isn’t as crazy as it seemed a few months ago.
The company has a $35 billion valuation and is expected to generate sales of almost $69 billion this year. That is, shares trade at almost 0.5 times this year’s revenue, a pretty cheap valuation for a key e-commerce player in one of the largest e-commerce markets in the world.
Further, estimates call for ~30% sales growth this year and ~25% growth next year. While earnings are set to decline from 50 cents per share last year to just 42 cents per share in 2018, analysts expect that figure to more than double in 2019 to 88 cents a share. That prices JD at a reasonable 27 times forward earnings.
Is JD stock a screaming buy amid an escalating trade way? No, not necessarily. But it should definitely be on the radar near current levels.
The other key player in the Chinese e-commerce market is Alibaba (NYSE:BABA). Unlike JD and its $35 billion market cap though, BABA is a colossal giant, commanding a $420 billion market cap despite the stock’s recent slide.
Although it hasn’t been as bad as JD, Alibaba stock is trading at levels it hasn’t seen in some time. The biggest issue with Alibaba? Founder and CEO Jack Ma is hitting the exit, rattling investor confidence and creating concern over the company’s long-term future despite its dominant position in China.
At the moment, analyst expect insane revenue growth of 58% this year and almost 40% in 2019. On the earnings front, estimates call for 16.5% growth this year and more than 35% growth in 2019.
Remember, we’re heading into the key second half of the year and Single’s Day (for both JD and BABA) is coming up on Nov. 11. These stocks tend to rally into that event, although it’s unclear when that will be the case this year — particularly if Chinese-U.S. tensions heat up as mid-terms approach just before that event.
BABA stock trades at just 21 times next year’s expected earnings. On a forward basis, that’s pretty cheap for a best-in-breed.
That type of move is obviously unsustainable. While shares were consolidating nicely just under $30 per share and putting in a series of higher lows, the bottom fell out this week. With IQ’s plunge into the mid-$20s, we now need to give it a few days to see where it will firm up.
For those who aren’t completely familiar with the iQiyi service, think of it kind of like a combination of YouTube and Netflix. As is the case with Netflix, the main metric for IQ stock is subscriber growth, for which it has plenty.
At year-end 2017, iQiyi had 50.8 million subs. That compares to 30.2 million a year prior and 10.7 million in 2015. In Q1, subs swelled to 60.1 million, 18% growth in just three months, while in Q2 subs totaled 67.1 million. While sequential growth slowed vs Q1, 11.6% quarter-on-quarter growth is nothing to shrug about. Further, consider that iQiyi grew its subs 75% year-over-year (YoY) for the quarter.
On the revenue front, sales jumped 42.5% YoY in Q2, which goes along with the impressive 48.8% growth from Q1. As it stands, IQ trades at about 5.4 times this year’s sales estimates, roughly half the valuation assigned to Netflix. While one could argue that NFLX deserves a premium valuation, doesn’t mean we should undervalue IQ.
iQiyi is quickly on its way to 100 million subs, with Netflix currently sporting “just” 130 million subs. NFLX has a content licensing agreement with iQiyi as well, given that Netflix isn’t allowed in China.
Let’s put it this way — if you could go back and invest in a YouTube/Netflix company in the U.S. five or 10 years ago, would you?
I’m not intentionally picking all Chinese equities here, but these have been hit the hardest over the past four to eight weeks and have great businesses. Just like iQiyi has become known as the Netflix of China, Huya (NYSE:HUYA) is known as “the Twitch of China.” For those of you unfamiliar with Twitch, it’s the live-streaming video game site owned by Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN).
E-sports and video games have become huge businesses. There are professional teams and leagues, scholarships to universities and events that draw a stadium full of fans. Believe it or not, it’s a real thing with plenty of real dollars.
Unlike iQiyi though, Huya is profitable and like iQ, its U.S. counterpart (Twitch) is banned in China. However, the Twitch ban was a recent move, leaving the industry wide open for Huya.
Forecasts call for revenue of $660 million this year, leaving shares to trade at about 7.4 times this year’s revenue forecast. However, estimates call for 58% growth in 2019 to more than $1 billion in sales. Estimates also call for earnings to grow 140% from 23 cents a share this year to 55 cents per share in 2019.
Unfortunately, its stock isn’t trading so great. Shares may find support near $22.50, and maybe they’ll continue lower. It’s hard to say with Chinese equities under so much pressure. With a $12 IPO price, $20 or below wouldn’t be a stretch, even with shares at $24.08 currently.
Let’s get out of China, if not for just one stock. Petrobras (NYSE:PBR) has been on the move lately, but is still well off its May highs near $17. A return back to this area would represent gains of more than 50%.
With energy prices on the rise, one would think PBR is a natural winner. It’s forecast to earn $1.40 per share this year — that’s up almost 50% from 2017 and leaves shares trading at just under 10 times earnings. Analysts expect further growth of 23% in 2019 to $1.73 per share.
On the revenue front, forecasts call for 9.6% growth this year and next. While the 0.5% yield is almost negligible compared to other energy giants, the valuation and growth combination is hard to beat. That theory changes should shares fall below $10.50, but at least there’s a way to measure our risk/reward.