JD.com and Jumei Make China Dot-Coms Cool Again

Last week was a good one for fast-growing Internet companies, but it was a great one for China's recent IPOs. JD.com (NASDAQ: JD  ) and Jumei International Holding (NYSE: JMEI  ) were two of last week's biggest winners, soaring 24% and 21%, respectively.

Jumei, China's largest online retailer of beauty products, went public at $22 on May 16. Less than a week later it was JD.com, the country's largest consumer-direct retailer, making its Wall Street debut at $19. 

Neither stock had gained a lot of traction before soaring this past week, even if they were only being flipped in the exchanges a few days earlier. Jumei shares had closed at $22.80 a week earlier, and JD.com went into the Memorial Day holiday weekend at $20.20.

JD.com got a boost when coverage was initiated by CLSA with a buy rating. However, it closed out the week above its price target of $24.50. JD.com also was helped out by a report indicating that WeChat, China's popular mobile messaging app, updated its application with a shopping portal powered through JD.com.

There wasn't necessarily any Jumei-specific news last week. It just moved higher in sympathy with JD.com and Chinese growth stocks in general. There's also some serious buzz that's building for Alibaba that will likely lift all of the major e-commerce players.  

JD.com and Jumei are growing quickly, though profitability has been elusive for JD.com. It commands nearly half of China's B2C, or business to consumer, market. A whopping $20.7 billion in gross merchandise volume was sold through the site last year. JD.com has 47.4 million active customer accounts. Revenue soared 68% to $11.5 billion. Its net operating deficit narrowed last year, but that may not be enough for investors used to seeing e-tailers cranking out that kind of sales volume to be highly profitable. 

Jumei is another interesting speedster. Net revenue more than doubled to $483 million last year, and it's been profitable since 2012. There are 10.5 million customers relying on Jumei for discounted beauty product with an impressive repeat purchase rate of 89%. 

Both stocks are established and successful, but they may be mere appetizers ahead of the upcoming Alibaba IPO. However, that's the kind of growth that will likely result in the underwriters that took them public to push out bullish reports on JD.com and Jumei when the quiet periods end for both stocks.

JD.com and Jumei may not exactly be household names for stateside investors, but after last week's big gains it won't be a surprise to see them become market darlings in a hurry.

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