Top China Stocks: Under the Radar
1. AsiaInfo (ASIA) sells telecommunications software and IT-security products.
Numbers: Fourth-quarter profit multiplied sixfold to $14 million, or 29 cents a share, as revenue climbed 42% to $76 million. The operating margin widened from 15% to 19%. AsiaInfo holds $285 million of cash, equating to a quick ratio of 2.1, and no debt.
Stock: AsiaInfo has soared 143% over the past year, beating major benchmarks. The stock trades at a price-to-projected-earnings ratio of 18, a 14% discount to the industry average. Its PEG ratio of 0.6 reflects a bargain relative to expected growth.
Catalyst: China's telecom-software spending is expected to grow 15% a year through 2012. One of two telecom users is served by AsiaInfo's systems. Expansion into the IT-security market is a safe diversification as government agencies drive growth.Consensus: Seven of eight analysts that follow AsiaInfo advocate purchasing shares. The stock gained 61%, on average, during the past three years. Pacific Crest Securities projects it will climb 43% to $40. It ranks in the top 3% of our coverage universe. -- Reported by Jake Lynch in Boston.
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