Shares of digital freight platform Full Truck Alliance (YMM) surged today, up 13.6% as of 12:30 p.m. ET.
Not only did FTA report better-than-feared earnings during what was a difficult quarter for the Chinese economy, but generally more optimistic news on China today was also helping U.S.-listed Chinese stocks across the board. This combination of factors led to today's powerful rally.
In the second quarter, which encompassed the severe Shanghai lockdowns of March through May, Full Truck managed to grow revenue 49.3% to $249.3 million, with adjusted (non-GAAP) earnings per ADS of $0.04. Both came in ahead of expectations and above the high end of the cautious guidance given back in June.
Interestingly, Full Truck was able to do more with less, as freight volumes were down 11.1% year over year. However, it appears Full Truck's platform has pricing power and achieved greater operational efficiency, with increased commissions and advertising.
Management also gave solid revenue guidance between 32.9% and 39.2% growth for the current quarter, albeit marking a slight deceleration. Keep in mind that the macroeconomic environment in China has remained fairly terrible up until today.
But that could be improving, too. On Thursday, China's State Council unveiled a new 19-point stimulus plan centered around infrastructure spending, amounting to about $117 billion.That is significant but not overwhelmingly large, so it remains to be seen if China's actions are enough to spur a turnaround after COVID lockdowns and the bust of China's property sector pummeled the local economy.
Additionally, U.S. and China negotiators are reportedly nearing a deal to let U.S. auditors look at Chinese financial records, a requirement for U.S.-listed Chinese stocks to keep their listings here. There had been much consternation that U.S.-listed Chinese stocks, Full Truck Alliance included, would be delisted from U.S. exchanges within the next three years; however, if this positive report turns out to be true, it's possible that delisting won't happen.
Full Truck Alliance may seem somewhat expensive, with a price-to-sales ratio of around 10; however, that's a bit misleading, because the company also has $3.9 billion in cash on its balance sheet and no debt. That's nearly half its market cap, so the real price-to-sales ratio is just a little more than five.
And with the company growing at solid rates while edging its way into profitability amid increased monetization, it's a Chinese name to watch, in addition to the more popular Chinese tech names.