Despite disappointing retail sales numbers released over the weekend, the Hang Seng and China Comp managed to rise, following a weekly decline for both.
This could be blamed either on a short-term correction after falls over 10% from recent highs, or the usual stimulus hopes after weakening retail and credit numbers.
The HSI had positive moves in the majority of sectors. For the HSCEI, however, the 10 decliners were dominated by banks.
Source: AA stocks
While China banks are under pressure with net interest income declining and, npl’s growing, the latest move could be due to rumors that Chinese regulators will be examining non-performing loan data. Despite economic weakness in China, NPL’S have stayed relatively low. While NPL’S have grown, criticism has come from outside regarding the drop in allowances to NPLS, now below the 150% guideline for 2 of the major 4 banks. From the last quarterly reports for China’s big-4 SOE banks:
Whatever the reason for the rise in stock values, the quick rise in one company, based on recent and historical performance, is unwarranted. Belle International, hk 1880, has risen over 14% since May 11.
Belle is a footwear and sportswear apparel retailer with 20,375 stores in Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macao. Belle has felt the brunt of the Chinese economy slowdown with same store sales declining, particularly in their bigger footwear segment, where they have the most outlets and get the biggest net profit.
Source Data: HKEX filings
While they have yet to issue their annual report, the decline in same store sales has seriously hit the bottom line as a profit warning was issued on 3/29/2016, stating the company expected a decline in annual net profit of 35% to 45%. Without giving specific details, the company claimed it was due to declining same store sales, declining gross profit margins and goodwill impairment. This would represent a major decline in performance based on both the last semi-annual report and the last annual.
Source Data: HKEX filings
As shown above, the company is confronting 2 problems. Thanks to declining sales in its original footwear core, it has been shifting more into sportswear apparel, which has continued to see same store increases although these are shrinking. Unfortunately, the margins in sportswear apparel, where they sell mostly licensed goods versus proprietary goods as in footwear, are much lower than footwear.
Based on these trends and the recent profit warning, it is doubtful the company will meet the current projections for about a 20% decline in eps. The company is expecting to publish its annual report by the end of this month.