Monday Winners: Quicksilver Resources, Corinthian Colleges and Yongye Int'l

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Among the biggest winners in Monday's early trading are Quicksilver Resources ( KWK ) , Yongye Int'l (Nasdaq: YONG) and Corinthian Colleges (Nasdaq: COCO) .

Top Percentage Gainers -- Monday, July 19, 2010
Company Name (Ticker) Intra-Day Price Intra-Day
% Gain
52-Week High 52-Week Low
Quicksilver Resources ( KWK ) $12.50 +13.8% $16.59 $10.09
Corinthian Colleges (Nasdaq: COCO) $10.76 +12.9% $20.29 $8.62
Yongye Intl.
(Nasdaq: YONG)
$7.38 +3.1% $12.00 $3.50

*Table includes companies with minimum market capitalizations of $200 million and three month trading volumes of at least 100,000 shares. All percentage returns are listed as of 10:40AM Eastern Standard Time . Click on ticker symbols for up-to-the-minute price quotes and percentage gain data.



QuickSilver's White Knight

When analysts at boutique investment bank McNicoll, Lewis and Vlak ( MLK ) picked up coverage of Quicksilver Resources ( KWK ) in late June, they laid out a compelling investment story. The company, they noted, was sitting on vast natural gas resources, and was quite undervalued relative to its potential production.

But they also had a seemingly modest price target of $15, well below the unlocked value of those assets, pegged in the $20 to $25 range. Their logic: "While KWK is very undervalued on the basis of its Risked Net Asset Value ( RNAV ), we do recognize the need for cash or a joint venture partner to develop those assets."

Well, India's Reliance Industries may be here to help. Reuters reported on Sunday that Reliance may inject cash into Quicksilver, or buy the company outright. That's good for a +14% gain this morning, though shares still trade for half of the potential value lying in Quicksilver's fields, according to the analysts at MLK.

Action to Take --> Look for gains to continue in the short-term as more investors come to see the rich trove of assets that Quicksilver has. But be prepared to move quickly if shares post a quick momentum-fueled run.

-------------------------------------

Another Cheap Fast-growing Chinese Stock

We've written repeatedly about the odd disconnect between the rate of growth for many domestic-focused China plays, and their very low valuations. Add Yongye International (Nasdaq: YONG) to the list. The company, which makes nutritional supplements for animals, and growth supplements for plants, pre-announced strong second quarter results on Monday morning.

Sales had at least doubled in each of the past three years, and management now thinks that they'll rise at least +80% to +90% this year, to around $180 million. That updated view is giving shares a +3% lift today.

As Yongye has grown, it has been able to more effectively sell directly to consumers and farmers. So it's slowly acquiring key distributors, which should help push gross margins up sharply. Per-share profits should approach $1 this year, and perhaps $1.50 in 2011. From there, growth is likely to moderate, but as the Chinese economy settles into a more nature growth path in coming years, Yongye can still be a perennial +15% to +20% grower.

Action to Take --> Despite today's gain, shares still trade for about five times projected 2011 profits. Even if shares only deserve a price-to-earnings ratio (P/E) of 10, which is still less than U.S.-focused supplement makers, then you're still looking at a double from current levels.

-------------------------------------

A Rebound in For-profit Education

It's been a brutal few months for operators of for-profit colleges. Congress has started to question the quality of the education proffered by these schools, and whether it's wise to help support loans to students that may not be getting a great education.

Yet the group is getting a solid lift today, as shares of Strayer Education (Nasdaq: STRA) , Corinthian Colleges (Nasdaq: COCO) , and ITT Educational Services ( ESI ) are all up roughly +10%. It's unclear what is moving the stocks, but they are heavily shorted, and any rebound tends to get amplified as short investors look to cover their positions by buying back stock.

Action to Take --> This is a very challenged group, facing a range of regulatory and perception challenges. Many stocks in the group are well off of their highs, but investors shouldn't be tempted to bottom-fish.


-- David Sterman

David Sterman has worked as an investment analyst for nearly two decades. He started his career in equity research at Smith Barney, culminating in a position as Senior Analyst covering European banks. David has also served as Director of Research at Individual Investor and has made numerous media appearances over the years, primarily on CNBC and Bloomberg TV. David has a master's degree in management from Georgia Tech. Read More...

Disclosure: Neither David Sterman nor StreetAuthority, LLC hold positions in any securities mentioned in this article.

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This article appears in: Investing , Stocks


David Sterman

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