NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of multiple Chinese Internet companies are down again in morning trading amid more weak economic data from the Asian nation. However, research firm CLSA released a note making favorable comments and evaluations of several of the country's largest Internet players amid the economic slowdown.
LITTLE IMPACT FROM SLOWDOWN: After 25 Chinese Internet and telecom companies attended CLSA's Investors' Forum, analyst Elinor Leung stated that Internet companies in China reported that they have been little affected by growing weakness in the nation's economy. Leung said that such companies have attributed their successful performance to a high savings rate, which increases consumer spending power, as well as gains in offline market share. Additionally, companies already listed may benefit from a weak A-share market in China, since smaller companies do not have access to financing and the slow market speeds up consolidation, Leung noted.
RATINGS CHANGES: CLSA upgraded online travel service provider Ctrip (CTRP) - Get Report to Buy from Outperform and maintained an $85 price target on its shares, while also raising its rating on Baidu (BIDU) - Get Report two notches, to Buy from Underperform. Leung, who lowered Baidu's price target to $180 from $225, said the firm's top sector picks in the country are JD.com (JD) - Get Report , Alibaba (BABA) - Get Report , Tencent (TCEHY) , and Ctrip. The analyst added that Tencent and Ctrip shares are the "most defensive" stocks, while JD and Alibaba could rebound even more after sentiment improves.
WHAT'S NOTABLE: Last Thursday, TechInAsia reported that Baidu chief executive officer Robin Li said that the company was weighing the idea of delisting from the NasdaqI:IXIC and re-listing on the A-shares market in China. TechInAsia later added that a spokesperson from the Chinese internet giant "downplayed" the potential move, saying that Li's comments referred to an "unlikely hypothetical situation" in which U.S. investors don't recognize the importance of the online-to-offline market.
PRICE ACTION: In morning trading, Baidu shares fell 1.4% to $134.21, Ctrip shares were flat near $66.64, JD.com shares slid 2% to $25.04 and Alibaba shares declined 2% to $60.69.
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