Between rate hikes and iffy micro-caps collapsing under accounting fraud allegations, China may seem like a risky place for investors these days.

It is -- but that alone isn't a good enough reason to scare you away from investing in China.

It's hard to ignore the world's most populous nation. China's booming economy is also growing at a heady clip. As the cherry on top, an appreciating yuan makes dollar-denominated investments that much more attractive.

If you don't want to chase China's losers, you don't have to. Let's go over seven stocks that hit fresh 52-week highs last week.


April 5



My Watchlist

51job (Nasdaq: JOBS) $66.93 $68.55 $16.64 Add
Focus Media (Nasdaq: FMCN) $30.53 $31.18 $14.36 Add (Nasdaq: BIDU) $141.65 $143.48 $59.68 Add
China Telecom (NYSE: CHA) $63.73 $64.14 $41.24 Add (Nasdaq: YOKU) $51.06 $52.80 $25.57 Add
SINA (Nasdaq: SINA) $113.56 $116.66 $32.00 Add (Nasdaq: SOHU) $96.49 $98.30 $40.05 Add

Source: Yahoo! Finance.

51job started out inserting its 51job Weekly insert of local employment opportunities in China's regional newspapers. It's still doing a bit of that today, but its online recruitment service is the real moneymaker; these days, it makes up more than half of the company's revenue.

Focus Media is an advertising juggernaut with a growing fleet of LCD monitors, poster frames, and billboards. Focus Media had a deal in place to sell most of its assets to SINA -- another winner on this list -- but the combination fell apart toward the end of 2009. Focus Media shares have popped sixfold since the market bottomed out two years ago.

Baidu is China's leading search engine, commanding roughly two-thirds of the country's queries. Baidu may be big, but it's certainly not slow. Revenue and earnings grew 94% and 171%, respectively, in its latest quarter.

China Telecom is a leading provider of mobile and landline phone service in China. Despite its recent run, shares of China Telecom trade at a forward earnings multiple in the teens.

Youku isn't as cheap. China's leading online video site was expensive when it went public last year, and it hasn't looked back. Revenue is on a tear, but profitability remains elusive. The company often referred to as "China's YouTube" does have healthy competition, but the real question here is how long it will take before video views in China can be profitably monetized.

SINA and Sohu are two of China's oldest dot-com darlings. They've taken different paths in recent years, with Sohu becoming a major player in China's booming online gaming market.

No dim sum
Obviously, a stock hitting a new high won't necessarily keep ascending. Plenty of questions plague these stocks: Is China Telecom growing too slow? Can Youku turn a profit? Will Baidu remain China's search engine of choice? Still, these companies' powerful momentum can look mighty good to investors amid an otherwise uncertain market. That's why I think today's big winners stand a pretty good chance of remaining China's successes tomorrow.

What's your favorite Chinese stock these days? Share your thoughts in the comment box below.