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China New Energy a Buy, Ignore the Math

If NEWN can start making the rounds and generate research coverage and better institutional penetration, there could be more upside placing it more in line with HPJ at 19 times earnings. This would imply a share price of $23.56.

Given that the company has already begun attending investor conferences, such as the Rodman conference in Beijing, and has already hired an investor relations firm, I think eventual research coverage is likely.

The key catalyst that will cause the stock to pop will be when the company puts out a press release stating that it has appointed its independent directors, which is necessary for the uplisting. Based on my discussions with management and its IR firm, the process of appointing these directors is already under way.

Currently NEWN shares trade for less than $8.00 and seem to show a significant amount of support at prices above $7.00, so the potential upside vs. downside profile of the stock currently looks very attractive. Last year the stock hit a 52-week high of $10.00, but I now view that high as largely irrelevant because it was based on a different share count and it took place prior to the two new acquisitions, which significantly enhance the company's earnings potential.

Recent comments by CEO Fushun Li also provide further comfort, "we have a clean capital structure, our balance sheet is very healthy, and we do not anticipate issuing additional equity in the near future. Finally, we have significant excess production capacity and can achieve our 2010 growth targets without incurring meaningful additional capital expenditures."

At the time of publication, Pearson was long NEWN.OB.

The author can be reached at comments@pearsoninvestment.com.

Rick Pearson is a Beijing-based private investor focusing on U.S.-listed China small-cap stocks. Until 2005, Pearson was a director at Deutsche Bank, spending nine years in equity capital markets in New York, Hong Kong and London. Previously, he spent time working in venture capital in Beijing. Mr. Pearson graduated magna cum laude with a degree in finance from the University of Southern California and studied Mandarin for six years. He has frequently lived, worked and traveled in China since 1992.
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