Years after the devastating coronavirus pandemic capsized global economies, China finally made the decision to reopen its economy, thus presenting possible opportunities in cheap Chinese stocks to buy. For the longest time, Beijing imposed a strict zero-Covid policy, which arguably helped control the spread of SARS-CoV-2. At the same time, however, the measure risked ruining the world’s second-largest economy.
Moving forward, financial experts insist that investors tread carefully. Although the return of free commerce may be a welcome sight, it could spark inflation. Indeed, the U.S. set the precedent. Although policymakers agreed to distribute stimulus checks, inflation didn’t become onerous until money velocity accelerated in 2022.
It’s possible, then, that a similar situation can materialize in China. Therefore, it’s important to consider viable and cheap Chinese stocks to buy. Below are the top names to consider.
Daqo New Energy
Operating the e-commerce website VIP.com, Vipshop (NYSE:VIPS) specializes in online discount sales. Therefore, the company combines two elements which China’s consumers likely seek right now: products to buy and great prices to go alongside them. Indeed, investors recognize the long-term opportunity, with VIPS gaining a remarkable 73% in the trailing year.
Granted, with such a stratospheric performance, many prospective investors may be worried about holding the bag. However, VIPS represents one of the cheap Chinese stocks to buy on an objective basis. Currently, the market prices shares at 12.1-times trailing earnings, below the sector median of 15.8 times. Moreover, VIPS trades hands at 8.5-times forward earnings, well below the sector median of 15.3 times.
Just as well, Wall Street analysts appreciate Vipshop, assigning VIPS a consensus moderate buy view. Along with strong stability in the balance sheet and a profitable business, VIPS still ranks among the cheap Chinese stocks to buy despite its recent upside.
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From a narrative standpoint, Noah Holdings (NYSE:NOAH) may represent the riskiest name among cheap Chinese stocks to buy. I just want to be upfront about this before wasting anyone’s time. Per its website, Noah is a leading wealth and asset management service provider in China with a focus on high net worth individuals.
Ordinarily, this would be a great business in a bull market – something that we saw post-spring 2020 doldrums. However, in a bear market, circumstances don’t exactly favor the wealth management industry. Nevertheless, Noah hires some of the best analysts and advisors in the business. If anyone’s going to guide Chinese investors, it would be an enterprise like Noah.
Granted, this storyline alone might not be enough to convince investors to take a shot. That said, the market prices NOAH at a hair over 8-times trailing earnings. This slips below the sector median of 11.5 times. Thus, from an objective view, NOAH is one of the cheap Chinese stocks to buy.
An Internet technology firm, NetEase (NASDAQ:NTES) develops and operates online PC and mobile games, advertising services, email services and e-commerce platforms. As China’s economy reopens and as the commercial bloodline flows freely again, NetEase should enjoy a relevancy boost. In particular, the company’s video game segment may be a hit, drawing attention as one of the cheap Chinese stocks to buy.
According to Reuters, “China’s end to a sweeping crackdown on its video games market is expected to breathe life back into the battered industry this year…” One of the beneficiaries of the reduced draconian measures could be NetEase. Although NTES gave up 6.5% of equity value in the trailing year, shares stormed back in the year so far. Since the January opener, NTES gained 16.5%.
Despite the recent rise, Gurufocus.com labels NTES as modestly undervalued. On an objective basis, NetEase’s price-to-discounted cash flow (DCF) on an earnings basis is 0.67 times. In contrast, the sector median stands at 1.41 times. Therefore, it’s a worthwhile candidate for cheap Chinese stocks to buy.
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On surface level, Autohome (NYSE:ATHM) wouldn’t seem to qualify as one of the cheap Chinese stocks to buy. Billed as the leading online destination for automobile consumers in China, Autohome provides extensive auto-related information listing services, helping prospective car buyers make the right decision. Of course, the problem is that with various challenges in the global economy, now might not be a good time to buy a car, in China or anywhere else.
While Autohome presents understandable concerns, it’s also important to recognize mechanical realities. As the Wall Street Journal pointed out back home, the average age of vehicles on U.S. roadways reached a record 12.2 years. Therefore, when vehicles break down, they might need to be replaced. A similar circumstance may impact China’s automotive market.
To state differently, it may be the car, not the consumer that dictates the purchasing decision. Notably, Autohome features zero debt on its books. Moreover, it’s a highly profitable enterprise. Therefore, the company’s forward multiple of 13 is attractive, considering the sector median of 17.1 times.
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From a longer-term perspective, social connection platform Hello Group (NASDAQ:MOMO) presents a risky profile. In the trailing five years, MOMO stock dropped 66% of equity value. And in the trailing year, shares looked like they were about to implode. However, a recent resurgence brought some interest back in the underlying company. In fact, in the past half-year period, MOMO gained nearly 129%.
As China reopens, Hello Group may benefit from an obvious social catalyst: the need for humans to connect with each other. According to a Pew Research Center report, during the Covid-19 pandemic, four-in-ten U.S. adults suffered from loneliness (and its consequences). Before you say that this report covers the U.S., I highly doubt that the Chinese are exempt.
Humans are humans. We need each other and this sentiment cuts across all national and cultural barriers. Bolstering the bull case for MOMO, shares enjoy an objectively undervalued profile. Currently, the market prices MOMO at a forward multiple of 7.2. This ranks well below the sector median of 17 times. Thus, it’s one of the cheap Chinese stocks to buy.
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On paper, Daqo New Energy (NYSE:DQ) represents one of the riskiest names among cheap Chinese stocks to buy. Sure, the company commands incredible relevancies. As a manufacturer of monocrystalline silicon and polysilicon – primarily for use in solar photovoltaic systems – Daqo should enjoy a large total addressable market. However, it also seems as if the renewable energy narrative ran out of steam.
In other words, with so many investors piling into the obvious trade back last year (fueled by geopolitical rumblings), many find themselves leery about holding the bag. Hence, several solar-related enterprises suffered a pullback. It’s possible that market participants may be feeling the same about Daqo. In the trailing year, DQ gained almost 22%. Notably, Gurufocus.com warns that DQ may be a possible value trap.
At the same time, analysts rate DQ as a moderate buy. Further, their average price target implies over 38% upside potential. Even better, Daqo features a forward multiple of 2.45, well below the sector median of 18.6 times. Thus, for risk takers, DQ may be one of the cheap Chinese stocks to buy.
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Although the financial technology (fintech) segment commands potentially extraordinary relevance, it’s also produced its fair share of stinkers. From a long-term perspective, it’s difficult to ignore the red ink in FinVolution (NYSE:FINV). Billed as a leading fintech platform in China connecting underserved borrowers with financial institutions, FinVolution offers a compelling narrative. Unfortunately, its lifetime return of 59% below parity raises doubts.
Still, if you’re willing to overlook present challenges, FinVolution could be intriguing amid China’s reopening. With commercial activity poised to return to normal volumes, the company may enjoy a burst of relevance. Further, FINV benefits from strong market momentum. In the trailing year, it gained nearly 29%. And since the January opener, it popped up over 6%.
As it relates to cheap Chinese stocks to buy, Wall Street prices FINV at just under 4-times forward earnings. In contrast, the sector median stands at 7.73 times. Just as well, FinVolution features a strong cash-to-debt ratio and an excellent long-term growth trend. Plus, it commands a return on equity of 21.6%, signifying extremely high business quality.
On the date of publication, Josh Enomoto did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.
A former senior business analyst for Sony Electronics, Josh Enomoto has helped broker major contracts with Fortune Global 500 companies. Over the past several years, he has delivered unique, critical insights for the investment markets, as well as various other industries including legal, construction management, and healthcare.
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