It wasn't too long ago when Alan Greenspan prophesied a "dramatic correction" in the Chinese stock market. In the months since, the Shanghai Composite Index has roller-coastered up and down. It's up a miraculous 35% since mid-May, but has also pulled investors down as much as 7% as well. Investors the world over seem nervous. Greenspan's clearly not the only one thinking such thoughts.

Asia's richest man, Li Ka-shing, echoed similar remarks, dropping the one word that shall not be mentioned. I'll give you a hint: It rhymes with "rubble," and we had a tech one some six years ago. Further doom was hinted at by the governor of the People's Bank of China, Zhou Xiaochuan.

So, is the Chinese market headed for catastrophe? And are investors with exposure doomed to failure? No, they're not doomed. I'm going to give you stocks that will help you profit, no matter what happens in the near term.

But before we get to the stocks ...
Though investors aren't doomed, the Chinese market is fairly overheated. Millions of Chinese citizens with newfound wealth are buying up stocks of companies they don't understand. More than 20 million brokerage accounts opened in China between January and May, a sum four times the number opened in all of 2006.

Moreover, the Chinese stock market is valued at more than 40 times earnings. That's nearly three times the P/E of the S&P 500.

Dare I say it?
But any correction is not going to last, particularly for companies with solid business models, good leadership, and a manageable capital structure. And that's because China's entire economy is expected to grow between 8% and 9% over the next five to 10 years.

Chinese productivity and export growth should also continue to expand. Meanwhile, a multiplying Chinese middle class will undoubtedly consume, consume, consume.

Regardless of whether China is the leading economic power in years to come, people should feel confident in the nation's ability to grow for the long term and overcome any near-term hiccups. Because it most certainly will.

Stocks that can survive the storm
To find stocks that will profit despite a correction or two, an investor must evaluate a company's business model apart from the rising tide of China's rapid economic growth. Ask yourself whether this business could succeed in a nation that wasn't growing as quickly. Similarly, evaluate the rest of the company as if it were a company in your own backyard. Is it producing free cash flow? Does it have manageable levels of debt? What are its competitive advantages? Are those advantages lasting? And, finally, does it have defensible sources of income?

A stock's exposure to China will only take it so far. It has to be a sound investment first. So I'm going to give you five stocks with promising exposure to the Eastern nation, a proven ability to generate free cash flow, and manageable debt levels:


Unlevered Free Cash Flow (in millions)

Debt/Capital Ratio

China Automotive Systems (NASDAQ:CAAS)



China Life Insurance (NYSE:LFC)



Novo Nordisk (NYSE:NVO)








Data is TTM and courtesy of Capital IQ, a division of Standard & Poor's.

Solid companies with great opportunity
What's FedEx doing in China? Well, the company today brings in more and more of its revenues from abroad -- currently about 26% of its revenues. Naturally, FedEx has prepared nicely to take advantage of some of the global economic tailwinds that will result from bustling emerging nations. Specifically, FedEx is targeting China with intent -- it has since 1984. The company also recently bought out the remaining 50% stake in a partnership with Tianjin Datian Group, making it a full-fledged subsidiary. That investment was worth some $427 million. is another great opportunity to take advantage of the bustling economy. The Chinese travel bookings site is not unlike Expedia (NASDAQ:EXPE) or (NASDAQ:PCLN), but with good customer service and wide appeal in China, it's poised to take advantage of the massive growth in earnings power that the Chinese consumer will see in the years to come.

Novo Nordisk is the self-proclaimed leader of diabetes solutions in the Eastern nation. It has long made use of manufacturing efficiencies, but has now developed a strong local R&D platform from which it can aide the China's health problems. The rest are well-positioned businesses with strong models.

The Foolish bottom line
Perhaps the Chinese market is poised for a correction, perhaps not. Of course, if a correction does come, it might just provide you with a great entry point for one of these stocks.

Regardless, China is growing rapidly, and you won't miss out on the action if you've got a financially sound company with a competitive edge to exploit. These are precisely the stocks we seek out at our Motley Fool Global Gains international investing service. In fact, the Global Gains team just completed a tour of some of Asia's best investing opportunities. If you're interested, you can take a free look at their picks and research. Just click here for a zero-commitment 30-day trial.

This article was first published June 1, 2007. It has been updated.

Fool analyst Nick Kapur owns no shares of any company mentioned above. FedEx is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendation. is a Hidden Gems pick. The Fool has a disclosure policy.