To say that Chinese stocks have been a roller coaster over the last year would be an understatement. Already, China has seen slower growth as it shifted from being a solely manufacturing-based economy to one based on services/consumerism. But with the trade war, Chinese stocks have been hit even harder, only to bounce back as a deal with the United States seemed to be within grasp.
Then, President Trump tweeted. With no deal in sight, tariffs rising and even lower growth on the horizon, Chinese stocks have continued to sink over the last week or so.
But this could be an interesting opportunity for long-term investors. China continues to dominate on the world stage and is arguably one of the most important economies. And while a deal may not be in sight today, there’s a good chance that one will be ironed out eventually. Meanwhile, with its huge and growing consumer base, domestic growth continues despite various trade pressures. In the end, Chinese stocks could be a wonderful long-term play. And the recent hiccups have provided a “reset” in valuations ripe for the picking.
With that, here are three Chinese stocks to buy today that are worthy of a long-term hold.
If there was only a way to combine all the best U.S. technology firms into one company, you’d have one of the most powerful Chinese stocks around. Oh wait, there is. And it happens to be Alibaba (NASDAQ:BABA).
BABA’s main bread-n-butter is its retail business. But unlike Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), BABA only serves as the marketplace and doesn’t actually hold inventory. People sell products on the site. That provides higher margins than even almighty AMZN.
The beauty is that founder Jack Ma has used the hefty cash flows from this business to fund a variety of other expansions. This has included everything from peer-to-peer lending, cloud computing, social media, and even tablets/mobile devices. This has created a monster among Chinese stocks. And the growth continues.
Last quarter, active users on BABA’s sites jumped 18%, while expansions into higher margined services and operations helped revenue surge 51% versus a year ago. Remember, this during all the trade war issues. With BABA now making moves into more rural areas of China, revenues and profits should continue over the long haul.
Meanwhile, the e-commerce giant has seen its shares dip over the last few weeks. With forward P/E of about 24, BABA is just as cheap as its American rivals, but with a much larger opportunity set.
Baidu Inc (BIDU)
BIDU operates a search engine just like GOOG. And just like GOOG in the U.S., the Chinese firm is the top dog when it comes to search in the nation. Right now, BIDU controls more than 80% of the search traffic in China. With more than 731 million internet users — a figure that is growing as access expands — BIDU commands the attention of a lot of eyeballs. This means there’s plenty of ad data to be had. And like GOOG, those ad sales pull in a ton of cash. Last year, Baidu’s clocked in roughly $14.88 billion. That was a 28% year-over-year jump and mostly due to the firm’s ad sales.
Meanwhile, BIDU has continued to expand into some other lucrative areas. This includes video with its iQiyi (NASDAQ:IQ) subsidiary as well as A.I. and autonomous vehicles. This all should sound very familiar to Google stock investors. The best part is, most of BIDU’s operations shouldn’t be affected too heavily by the trade war. People will still search for funny cat videos and the news regardless of how steel prices are reacting.
Under that guise, Baidu could be a bargain among Chinese stocks. With its 36% estimated EPS growth in 2020, BIDU stock trades at dirt cheap forward P/E of just 11.5. No wonder why fellow InvestorPlace contributor Bret Kenwell thinks BIDU can rally to $250 per share.
One of the reasons for China’s slowing growth has been its shift from being a manufacturing nation to one that focuses on consumerism. Which is why Ctrip.com (NASDAQ:CTRP) makes for an interesting buy these days.
CTRP operates a series of travel and accommodation booking websites. Like its U.S. counterparts, hotels, airlines and other entertainment venues list their unused inventory or packages on CTRP’s websites and consumers book through the site. Ctrip then collects a fee for doing so. Margins for the technology stock remain high as it doesn’t really have overhead. This has allowed the firm to realize some decent profits over the years. Last quarter, CTRP managed to beat estimates by a wide margin.
Meanwhile, travel continues to grow in China despite trade issues. Management estimates that revenues could jump more than 23% this year as more people hit the road and take vacations. Better still, is that CTRP has expanded its offerings to include more hotels/destinations in rural China. This allows the firm to add potential clients on both sides of the equation. Likewise, it’s continued to add international capacity and hotel deals as well.
In the end, CTRP offers an interesting domestically focused Chinese stock with plenty of growth left in the tank.
Disclosure: At the time of writing, Aaron Levitt held a long position in AMZN.