Vipshop Holdings: Sham Financials, or a 'Great' Company?

NEW YORK (The Street) - Shares of Vipshop Holdings (VIPS) are 4.3% lower Thursday, after recently-released reports suggest that the company is manipulating its filings. 

John Fichthorn, co-founder and portfolio manager of Dialectic Capital, has a short position in the stock, based upon research presented by J Capital Research. A separate report from Mithra Forensic Research drew similar a conclusion, Fichthorn said. 

Citing discrepancies in the company's accounting, Fichthorn said it's not completely unheard of for a Chinese company to misrepresent its results in the U.S. If the numbers are indeed false, it makes Vipshop a difficult short, because it can basically release whatever results it wants, he said. 

Its financial filings in China are vastly different than the filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, leading to concerns that the company's results are not accurate. Situations like this need to be addressed, Fichthorn said.

However, not everyone was lining up against Vipshop, as respected Wall Street vet Gene Munster came to the company's defense. Munster, a senior analyst at Piper Jaffray, says it's not uncommon for a Chinese company to have its filings with authorities in China and with the SEC not match up. 

"I hate to say it, but it's next to impossible [to find a fraudulent company] unless you're on the inside," Munster added.

The fact that the discrepancies are so wide actually makes the situation less concerning, he explained, saying that it's easy for accountants to misread or flat out miss certain critical data points when going through the two filings

Either everything at Vipshop is great - which he believes it is - or the company is the next Enron, Munster said. While he acknowledged that there is technically a chance the company could a "total farce," it's incredibly unlikely, he said. 

The conversation turned back to the broader market. Joseph Terranova, chief market strategist for Virtus Investment Partners, said the stock market could have trouble going higher without leadership from a particular sector. 

The energy rally has likely been too strong and too fast, meaning another sector will have to lead the way. Utilities are leading the market higher on Thursday, but Terranova says investors should use that opportunity to "sell as fast as you can." Instead, he likes technology and financials. 

In particular, Pete Najarian, co-founder of optionmonster.com and trademonster.com, says he likes old tech stocks, like Western Digital (WDC) and Cisco Systems (CSCO). Investors can rotate out of outperforming sectors, like energy, and into underperforming sectors, like financials. 

Jon Najarian, co-founder of optionmonster.com and trademonster.com, said he would take profits in stocks like Transocean (RIG) and Diamond Offshore Drilling (DO), which have respectively climbed 25.6% and 9% over the past month. Wait for a pullback before getting long, he said to those investors looking to buy. 

The traders were asked for their top stock or industry picks that have underperformed but may soon start to heat up. 

Pete Najarian went with stocks like Caterpillar (CAT), Joy Global (JOY) and Terex Corp. (TEX).

Terranova stuck with commodities like steel and precious metals. Specifically, he thinks U.S. Steel (X), AK Steel (AKS), silver and gold could garner upside momentum. 

Jon Najarian is looking at some recent disappointments with companies like Whole Foods Market (WFM), The Fresh Market (TFM) and Ralph Lauren (RL). Six months from now, investors who buy these stocks today will likely be happy, he said. 

After shooting higher by roughly 20% on Thursday and being halted three times for volatility, shares of Avon Products (AVP) appear to not be in play following a questionable buyout offer from a supposed private equity group called PTG Capital Partners. 

Shares are still higher by 5.5% on the news, but Pete Najarian said some short sellers could be covering their positions just in case a buyout is on the table.

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