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Fourth quarter 2007 update

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The miserable performance of CROX erased much of my 2007 gains. But thanks to the rebound of Mindray (MR), I am still be able to be above water 🙂

Some random thoughts of Q4 and year 2007 stock performance:

1) Crocs (CROX): I agree with my friend StrengthTrader, Crocs is a fashion product. It’s almost unbelievable for Crocs to become popular in much of the world in such a short time. At least it grew much faster than Nike did 20 years ago. But will Crocs be as big as Nike some day? I don’t know. The market thinks it will NOT (traded at PE of about 20, the company projected 35 to 40% revenue growth in 2008).

2) Mindray (MR): benifit from the global spending of healthcare. Although the US market did not turn out to be as successful as we like, other interntional markets especially South America made up the slack.

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Letter from CEO of Xinhua Finance

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Today, Fredy Bush, the CEO of Xinhua Finance and Xinhua Finance Media Limited (XFML), released a letter to counter the recent media coverage of “the mystery of Xinhua Finance”. Quote the letter:

— Over the years the media has criticized Xinhua Finance as being too
close to the Xinhua News Agency and the government of China; now they
are criticizing us for not being close enough. The fact is, we have a
20 plus 10 year exclusive agreement signed in 2000 with the China
Economic Information Service of the Xinhua News Agency and that has not
changed. This has been publicly disclosed on numerous occasions.

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The Mystery of Xinhua Finance

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Here is a Chinese article talking about the history of the Xinhua Finance, Xinhua Finance Media Limited (Nasdaq: XFML), and its founder Ms. Fredy Bush.

Quote the article, Xinhua Finance claimed “如果你生活在中国,清晨醒来打开电视就能看到收视率最高的节目之一:《财富早7点》。乘车上班途中,可以收听到中国国际广播电台EasyFM的节目。路过报刊亭可以见到《经济观察报》、《投资有道》和《基金观察》。”

This is not necessarily true, I could NOT see the “Fortune Morning (7 AM)” in Shanghai on TV. If a Financial TV program can not being viewed in Shanghai (the financial center of China), can it claim the highest rating? Let me quote Greenspan “it’s possible, but unlikely”. I was a listener of EasyFM; and I read Econ Observer paper once. Keep in mind, XFML did not own any of those media outlets, they merely have contracts with the respective owners.

It’s also interesting to see Xinhua News Agency, officially cut the ties with Xinhua Finance. I guess they were embarrassed by the latter.

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Xinhua Finance Media XFML Update

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I really don’t want to talk this stock any more. But thought I may shed some light on this company’ new controversy, here is an article from market watch. To put long words short, Xinhua Finance Media Limited, failed to mention its CFO was under SEC investigation in its IPO prospectus. I don’t know legal side of the things, it seems they failed at least the investors. Similar things can be said for its underwriters?

Separately, I received their paper prospectus in the mail a while ago. This thing is about 400 pages, about 2 inches thick. I don’t know why they send this in the paper (investors can always read it online). Maybe they could boost their printing division’s revenue a bit by doing this.

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Xinhua Finance Media IPO Fiasco

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Xinhua Finance Media Limited (XFML) did not turn out to be another Home Inns or New Oriental, at its IPO debut last Friday. Besides the difference of market sentiment then and now, I think the fundamental reason lies within the company and the business itself.

First Xinhua Finance is in the media and advertising business. Note media industry is still heavily regulated in China, this is different from Home Inns’ economy hotel business, which is pretty much a free market (as long as they can secure the building).

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Xinhua Finance Media IPO Update

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(Update 07Mar07) I saw an updated F1 prospectus at SEC web site. So I would assume the IPO is still on?

Just heard from a friend in the States, this is not offical, but the rumor is the IPO is called off. I assume the reason is the recent sell off of Chinese stocks inside and outside China scared lots of potential foreign buyers.

IPO is a very interesting game for issuing companies, underwriters and buying institutions. Companies do the road show and get people excited. They also talked to underwriter to determine the issuing prices. The underwriters bought all these shares from companies at the issuing price and sell those shares to institutions (a.k.a, their buddies). They receive a fee from this transaction.

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Got to Shanghai

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I am in Shanghai now. The flight connection was not as smooth as I expected, finanlly I got here about 5 and a half hours late than original schedule. I got oppertunity to see the new Beijing airport on the way: very impressive infrustructure. I guess it’s ready for the big party in 2008. I will talk more about my thoughts and airline customer experience later.

I also read Buffett latest anual shareholder letter as I talked in my previous post. Very good stuff and fairly easy to read.

My second reading assignment is Xinhua Finance Media F1 prospectus. I agree with some of the analysts the valuation is a bit high at $12  to $14. It implies a market cap of $800 m and note its 2006 revenue is about $59 m. I don’t think media and advertising industry enjoy a high margin. The growth oppertunity is there, so is the competition and challenge…I flipped through the TV channel and was impressed by the “No.1 Caijing”, the competitor program of Xinhua’s Fortune China. I tried to search for Fortune China but was not successful.  

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Xinhua Finance Media Limited XFML IPO

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I received an Email from my broker WR Hambrecht asking me if I am interested in Xinhua Finance IPO. I talked it a little in a previous post; now I feel it’s not another Maritz. Also after yesterday’s crash, I got a little warmed up on it. So I called them and indicated my interest. Don’t know if I will get some. We will see.

Here is their F1 prospectus. I think some of comparables include: FMCN, JRJC in China and Viacom, Reuters in the US. Just on the top of my head, will do my reading and report my finding later. By the way, Xinhua is a very well known name and brand in China.

xinhua finance pic

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Xinhua Finance Media Limited IPO

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Found this through my friend thesunsfinancialdiary. I briefly went through their F1 prospectus. I had to admit I’m not in best position to evaluate their business: they have 5 divisions providing services from creating adverstisement to customer research. I can think of a St. Louis based privately held company called Maritz which does something similar: they organized conferences for other companies, send promotional gifts for companies like Nissan, take care of the employee reward etc. One way to analyze Xinhua Finance (symbol: XFML) is comparing each division to a public company does something similar, then adding them up.  

On a related matter, the event marketing services in China is booming. About 2 years ago, during my Jiu Zhai Guo tour, I met a senior executive of a conference organizing company  based in Beijing, I learned about three most popular conference places in China: Shanya (Beach), Dali (Yun’nan), and Jiu Zhai Gou/Chengdu.  

By the way, the parent company of Xinhua Finance Media Limited is traded in Tokyo. Also, the CEO and co-founder of the company is Ms. Fredy Bush, not sure if she is related to the George Bush family…