Chinese growth stocks have been getting slammed in recent months, and with trade tensions mounting and the yuan depreciating against the greenback, it's easy to be apprehensive. Chinese internet stocks were risky enough before all of the new headwinds.
The problem with the sharp sell-off -- and your opportunity -- is that many of the stocks that have taken big hits have businesses that will thrive with or without the tariff fisticuffs that have been flying about from both countries. Let's take a closer look at Momo (NASDAQ:MOMO), iQiyi (NASDAQ:IQ), and 51job (NASDAQ:JOBS), three stocks that have likely corrected incorrectly in recent months.
Momo -- Down 43% since June highs
One of China's cheapest stocks when sizing up its growth rate to its earnings multiple is Momo. The social video platform operator is trading for just 12 times this year's projected earnings and less than 10 times -- 9.6, to be exact -- next year's profit target.
You may expect a slow grower at those multiples, but that's not Momo. Revenue soared 58% in its latest quarter, with adjusted earnings nearly doubling. Wall Street doesn't have a right to be skittish here. Momo has blasted through analyst earnings estimates with ease for six consecutive quarters.
There's naturally a trendy nature to social media, and those limited lifespans don't get any more favorable when we key in on Momo's live video broadcasting and online dating strong suits. However, for a company that relies almost entirely on locals, it would seem as if Momo is well protected from the U.S. trade war.
iQiyi -- Down 52% since June
One of this year's initially hottest IPOs has seen its value cut by more than half since its mid-June peak. China's leading video-streaming service went public at $18 in March, and three months later, it had more than tripled before it began rolling downhill.
The service's popularity is booming. Revenue rose 51% in the second quarter -- iQiyi's first full quarter as a public company -- on the strength of a 75% surge in subscribing members. There are now 66.2 million paying members on iQiyi. The dot-com speedster isn't profitable, unlike the other two names on this list that are freakishly cheap on an P/E basis. However, like Momo, it does happen to rely almost entirely on China's young and rising tech-savvy middle class.
Wall Street gets it. Jefferies analyst Karen Chan initiated coverage of iQiyi earlier this month with a "buy" rating, arguing that the recent sell-off makes it a great time to get in. She feels that online video remains an undermonetized commodity in China, and that should change in the coming years. Her $33 price target may have seemed bearish when the stock was peaking four months ago, but it represents nearly 50% of upside at current levels.
51job -- Down 50% since June
It's easy to see why Chinese manufacturers and online marketplaces have been weakening as the trade war rhetoric heats up, but how do you explain 51job getting cut in half since early June? 51job is a profitable and steadily growing job-listing website, pairing up employers with employees.
China's economy may be slowing, but there's still plenty of workforce turnover and opportunities for 51job to remedy. Revenue rose 33% in its latest quarter, slower than Momo and iQiyi, but adjusted earnings did pop a healthy 72% for the period. The stock can be had at a reasonable 21 times this year's earnings and 17 times next year's Wall Street forecast. Momo trades at a larger discount to its growth, but 51job's model is steadier, with several years of consistent and profitable top-line growth.
All three stocks are cheap. None of the companies should be roughly half as valuable as they were four months ago. They may not bounce back right away, but they should bounce back. The last few months of noise have done nothing to eat into the fundamentals of Momo, iQiyi, and 51job -- only their share prices.