Last week was a rough one for many of China's once high-flying growth stocks. Shares of Momo (NASDAQ:MOMO), 51job (NASDAQ:JOBS), and Vipshop Holdings (NYSE:VIPS) plummeted 11%, 16%, and 11%, respectively, last week.
There was no material news on any of the three one-time high-flying stocks. Investors have been skittish about Chinese growth stocks since the trade war with the U.S. intensified over the summer. But it's too soon to give up on these growing companies, especially now that their valuations are more reasonable than you probably think.
The social video platform operator has seen its stock plunge 28% since peaking in June, but it remains one of China's biggest year-to-date winners. Momo stock is trading 60% higher in 2018, even after the recent swoon.
There's a lot to like in Momo's quarterly updates, as it has blown away Wall Street's expectations for six consecutive reports. Its latest quarter was another beauty, with revenue rising 58% and adjusted earnings soaring 90%. Stateside investors would typically pay a lot for that kind of growth, but last week's sell-off finds Momo priced at just 15 times this year's projected earnings and only 12 times next year's multiple.
There's a lot of hiring going on in China, and 51job is there pairing up employees with prospective hires on its widely used online platform. Revenue grew 33% in its latest quarter, ahead of the 27% to 31% top-line growth it was targeting just three months earlier. As with Momo, we're seeing even faster growth on the other end of the income statement: Adjusted earnings skyrocketed 72% for the quarter.
This is another stock trading at a healthy discount to its growth rate. The market's pricing 51job at 24 times this year's expected profit and 19 times next year's bottom-line forecast. Momo is cheaper on an absolute basis, but 51job has delivered years of consistent growth.
We've covered two companies that are pulling back despite being near the top of their game, but it's a different story at Vipshop. The online discounter of brand-name apparel has been struggling to compete in a competitive climate where promotional activity has clipped margins.
Revenue growth has decelerated for eight consecutive quarters, and the 18% top-line gain it scored last time out is its weakest year-over-year gain as a public company. Adjusted earnings declined 23%. The silver lining is that Vipshop has never been this cheap. The stock can be had for just 10 times this year's earnings and 8 times next year's target. Wall Street estimates will naturally keep inching lower until Vipshop turns things around, but it's too soon to give up on the stock that was the investing world's hottest ticket from 2012 to 2014, when it more than doubled for three consecutive years.