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Separating Winners From Losers in China

Yet for some reason, Synutra has a market cap that is $250 million greater than American Diary. Stock prices are unpredictable, and investors don't always focus on profitability.

Companies that consistently generate profits and cash their stock prices can't hide in the low digits for very long. In addition to Orient Paper, a good example is China Agritech (CAGC). With China Agritech, each quarter shows continued improvement, and any surprises are consistently positive. As a result, the share price has traded from the single digits in August last year to nearly $40 at present.

Among battery makers, consistent winner Hong Kong Highpower Technology (HPJ - Get Report) has seen its share price rise from $1.18 in August to nearly $9 at present. Similar to China BAK Battery, Hong Kong Highpower has been the beneficiary of a lot of short-term news hype, including obtaining research coverage from Rodman & Renshaw, a contract with Siemens and approval for relisting to Nasdaq.

But unlike with China BAK Battery, the gains in Hong Kong Highpower's stock price tend to not rapidly fade away but rather keep boosting the stock higher.

The next task is to figure out how much more share-price upside remains with these profitable winners. I recently visited Orient Paper in Baoding, and based on their continued capacity expansion and expansion into even higher-margin product lines, I think there is still plenty more upside.

With Hong Kong Highpower and China Agritech, both stocks have risen very far very fast and will likely continue to deliver profits, but their share prices may be fully priced at present. And again, the decision to hold the stocks is the same as the decision to buy them -- either way you end up long at the end of the day.
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