With last night's close, the Japanese stock market has now wiped out its gains for the year and sits at levels not seen since December. One of the culprits in the decline is financial services company Orix
Given that Orix is a financial company and not a conventional bank with simple operations, it's not surprising its shares have been decimated in the last few months. It's an interesting outfit that began as a leasing company back in the 1960s. Orix also follows U.S. disclosure practices and U.S. accounting principles; having long relied on funding from outside Japan to grow its business, it needed to meet the standards investors demanded to obtain that funding.
The problem investors face with Orix is getting their arms around the entire business. This is similar to the challenge of truly understanding General Electric
Orix is also further diversifying by re-entering the Chinese market through a newly formed partnership arrangement and ramping up its presence in Vietnam, another market with interesting growth opportunities.
Understanding the risk here isn't a small undertaking. But Japan's real estate market is among the world's most reasonably priced, and its economy is recovering and benefiting from growth across Asia. Add that to Orix's potential for expansion in Asia, the stock's P/E of 11, and a price-to-book value of 1.8, and now is likely to be the best time for investors to give the company a good hard look.
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