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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Baidu, Qihoo 360 Technology, PetroChina, China Mobile and ReneSola

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL - September 25, 2015 - Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include the Baidu ( BIDU ), Qihoo 360 Technology Co. Ltd. ( QIHU ), PetroChina Co ( PTR ), China Mobile Ltd. ( CHL ) and ReneSola Limited ( SOL ).

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Here are highlights from Thursday's Analyst Blog:

China Stock Roundup

Markets gained on most days of the week following optimism over president Xi's first state visit to the U.S. The Shanghai Composite gained on Monday and Tuesday following positive sentiment over the visit. The Shanghai Composite Index slumped on Wednesday after data on manufacturing hit a six-year low. Continuing positive sentiment from the state visit to the U.S. helped stocks gain again on Thursday.

Baidu ( BIDU ), along with other tech giants like Google, Qualcomm and Microsoft, announced a strategic joint investment in Internet performance and cyber security startup, CloudFlare. Qihoo 360 Technology Co. Ltd. ( QIHU ) recently reached an agreement with China-based smartphone manufacturer Coolpad Group Limited to adjust their respective holding in the joint venture (JV), Coolpad E-commerce.

Last Week's Developments

Last Friday, the Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.4%, boosted by gains from property stocks. An index of property stocks moved up 0.7% after data indicated new homes priced had increased in more cities in August compared to July. Prices increased across 35 cities in August out of a total of 70 cities considered for the gauge. This is higher than the figure of 31 recorded in July.

The CSI 300 increased 0.4%. A sub-index of tech stocks moved up 2.2%, reducing weekly losses to 7%. The Hang Seng advanced 0.3% while the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index added 0.6%. This took weekly gains for the H-share index to 3.2%.

The benchmark index slumped 3.2% over last week, suffering its largest weekly loss till now in September. Commodity and tech stocks were the biggest losers. Economic reports released over the month that reform announcements and repeated monetary easing have still not had any major impact on the country's economy.

Markets and the Economy This Week

The Shanghai Composite Index moved up again on Monday, gaining 1.9%. Tech and industrial stocks gained ahead of president Xi Jinping's first state visit to the U.S. The benchmark index had dropped 1.2% at one point before regaining ground. According to China's foreign minister, China and the U.S. may conclude agreements across various areas such as energy and infrastructure during president Xi's visit.

As a result, tech and industrials gained, following speculation that their orders will increase after the visit. The CSI 300 gained 1.8%. Sub-indexes of tech and industrial stocks increased in excess of 3%, emerging as the highest gainers among the 10 industry groups.

The Hang Seng declined 1% while the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index declined 1.6%. The Chi-Next surged 4.8%. The state visit has created much optimism over a higher volume of business between the two countries. A collaborative bullet train project has already been announced while China may place a large order for U.S. made aircraft.

Optimism over President Xi's visit flowed into Tuesday as the benchmark index advanced 0.9%. The largest stock in terms of weightage on the Shanghai Composite, PetroChina Co ( PTR ) increased 0.9%, the highest gain this week.

Meanwhile brokerage stocks gained following the possibility of a Shanghai-London exchange link. British officials have stated that they will examine the viability of such a link. Analysts characterized the brokerage rally as a premature one. United Kingdom's chancellor of the exchequer stated that there will be discussions on the feasibility study for the exchange link during the next session of annual discussions.

The CSI 300 increased 0.9%. Tech and financials led gains for the CSI 300. It is being speculated that tech companies stand to gain the most from the president Xi's visit. The Hang Seng advanced 1% while the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index added 0.5%.

The Shanghai Composite Index lost 2.2% on Wednesday following disappointing data on manufacturing. The preliminary Caixin China Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index declined to 47 in September, lower than last month's final reading of 47.3. This is the lowest level recorded since Mar 2009.

Xi said that China's stock market was going through a "phase of self-recovery and self-adjustment". Analysts said these comments indicate that support measures from the government will gradually be eased off. They also said market sentiment was being dampened by economic data which continued to remain dismal.

The CSI 300 declined 2.3%. All of the index's 10 industry groups declined with energy and material stocks leading losses. The Hang Seng also lost 2.3% while the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index declined 2.7%. This was the lowest level experienced by the H-share index in three weeks.

Continuing positive sentiment from the state visit to the U.S. helped stocks gain again on Thursday. Tech and industrials gained the most following expectations that the visit will help push up exports to bolster the flagging economy. The Shanghai Composite increased 0.9% as eight stocks advanced for every decliner.

The CSI 300 gained 0.7%. Sub-indexes of tech and industrial stocks within the index moved up nearly 1.1%. The Hang Seng declined 1% while the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index lost 1.1%.

Meanwhile, Boeing announced its largest investment in China. It has inked a cooperation document with Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (Comac) for construction of an aircraft completion center for its 737 jet in China. The company also received $38 billion of orders and commitments following Xi's visit to its primary facility in the U.S.

Stocks in the News

Baidu along with other tech giants, Google, Qualcomm and Microsoft announced a strategic joint investment in Internet performance and cyber security startup, CloudFlare.

The funding round was led by Fidelity Investments along with Google's investment division Google Capital, Microsoft, Baidu and Qualcomm's investment arm Qualcomm Ventures. CloudFlare raised $110 million from this round of private financing, which valued its business at $182 million.

Launched in 2009, CloudFlare is a company offering a content-delivery network (CDN) with services that can speed up any Internet application or websites while also protecting them from hackers' attacks. Last week it partnered with Baidu to launch a unified global platform to help build a faster, more secure and more intelligent Internet in China and throughout the world.

Qihoo 360 Technology Co. Ltd. recently reached an agreement with China-based smartphone manufacturer Coolpad Group Limited to adjust their respective holding in the joint venture (JV), Coolpad E-commerce.

Earlier this month, Qihoo issued a notice to Coolpad stating its intention "to exercise its put option to require the latter to purchase the company's entire 49.5% stake in Coolpad E-Commerce Inc." The put option was exercisable if Coolpad breached non-compete clauses under the shareholders agreement. The recent deal which, Qihoo believes, would be beneficial to both the parties, came in response to the notice.

Under the new deal, Coolpad will redeem a portion of its shares in return for some of its Internet operating assets contributed to the JV. This will further increase Qihoo's equity stake in the JV to 75% from 49.5%, while Coolpad will only have 25%, down from 50.5%.

Nevertheless, both the companies have agreed to share their intellectual property, supply chain management, product development and app distribution to boost Coolpad E-commerce. Moreover, following the share redemption, Qihoo cannot exercise its put option issued on Sep 2, 2015 that allowed it to purchase Coolpad's 49.5% stake in the JV.

China Mobile Ltd. ( CHL ), the world's largest telecom operator in terms of subscribers, reported that its subscriber base stood at a mammoth 820.1 million at the end of Aug 2015, increasing from 818.7 million in July. The growth was largely driven by a massive increase in 4G LTE connections where over 20 million subscribers were added, taking the tally of the same to 229.3 million.

The trend hints at the possibility of 3G customers switching to 4G, as evident from a decline in the 3G subscriber base. Meanwhile, rivals also reported subscriber additions.

ReneSola Limited ( SOL ) will buy back $20 million worth of American depositary shares ("ADSs") in the next 12 months.

Separately, ReneSola announced that it has completed the sale of its 300-kilowatt ("KW") low-voltage project in Kyoto, Japan.

The project was purchased by a local firm with the intention of utilizing it for the capitalization of tax incentives for investments made in small-scale renewable projects. The project uses ReneSola's Virtus modules and is suitable for Japan's 36 Yen Feed-in Tariff scheme.

According to ReneSola, this was its first project sale in Japan. The sale represents the company's long-term strategy to create a portfolio of small-sized ground or commercial rooftop projects for sale to retail and institutional investors at lucrative prices and favorable terms of payment.

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BAIDU INC (BIDU): Free Stock Analysis Report

QIHOO 360 TECH (QIHU): Free Stock Analysis Report

PETROCHINA ADR (PTR): Free Stock Analysis Report

CHINA MOBLE-ADR (CHL): Free Stock Analysis Report

RENESOLA LT-ADR (SOL): Free Stock Analysis Report

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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