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Coming the week of November 8th 1999:  An all new stock ideas section featuring long and short ideas.

GO LONG OPINION ARCHIVES

CLICK TO VIEW OPINION

INDONESIA SOUTH KOREA THAILAND INDIA PAKISTAN
TELEKOMUNIKASI INDONESIA PT INDOSAT ASIA PULP AND PAPER GULF INDONESIA POHANG IRON &STEEL
KOREA ELECTRIC POWER SK TELECOM THAI CAPITAL FUND INDIA FUND PAKISTAN INVESTMENT FUND
CHINA SOUTHERN AIRLINES SHANGHAI PETROCHEMICAL ROSTELKOM BANK TOKYO MITSUBISHI MEDPARTNERS
OLSTEN ASHANTI GOLDFIELDS AO TATNEFT PASIFIK SATELIT PHILIPPINES
MALAYSIA WEBS MALAYSIA PHILIPPINES    

 

INDONESIA:It's always a shame to see a dictator go. If Suharto is serious about stepping down, we expect to see a pop up in the market when a successor is finalized--that is providing that Suharto and his family are not controlling the new government from behind the scenes. A new non Suharto linked government, and an accompanying lessening of violence should produce a favorable market environment over the coming years. The Indonesian market has gone from being extremely overbought last year to extremely oversold this year.When the clouds look darkest and panic reigns is the best time to buy. We expect any purchases to do very well if held for 3 to 4 years. We would avoid the closed end Indonesian funds which are selling at premiums to NAV of 80-130% and instead purchase the following stocks (5/19/98):

The new Indonesian government has done a good job of restoring calm. The  relative peace in Indonesia has comforted the stock market which appears ready to recover some of the losses seen during the panic driven selling prior to Suharto's resignation. Look for the market to continue to inch upwards as investor sentiment returns to more normal levels. We believe the economy has bottomed and will return to a growth path by late 1999. We expect the financial markets to begin a recovery well in advance of this. The recovery of the Rupiah in anticipation of an economic upturn will provide a powerful profit boost for foreign investors. We continue to overweight the Indonesian market. (7/20/98)

      MESSAGE BOARDS 
TLK (Telekomunikasi Indonesia): The Indonesian telco is extremely oversold and is trading at a great discount to other phone companies. It is trading at 12.5 times 1999 estimates, with a PEG of 1.1, which is a steal compared to the valuations given telcos like the Baby Bells. Given the low phone line penetration in Indonesia, we feel  that TLK has plenty of room for growth in the coming years. We're buying this one now before the rates go up.
   QUOTE       CHART       BROKER RESEARCH   MESSAGE BOARDS  SEC FILINGS
IIT (P.T. Indosat): The Indonesian long distance provider. Another deeply oversold telco. It is trading at 12.2x '98 estimates and only 9 times next year's. Stronger financially than TLK (although neither company is in danger of going out of business), its earnings should bounce back faster. Price has held well above January lows this time down. Another one to buy and hold onto until the market bounces back.
   QUOTE       CHART       BROKER RESEARCH   MESSAGE BOARDS  SEC FILINGS
PAP (Asia Pulp and Paper): Cheap, low cost paper producer's stock price has taken it on the chin during the recent riots. PAP is trading at just 10.7 times '98 earnings estimates and at a ridiculously low 5.4x next year's estimates. The PEG on this growth stock (yes, you heard right, a paper stock that's a growth company) is an insanely low .22. We'll buy this over International Paper any day. (5/19/98)

PAP's stock price was hit by a wave of selling this year as investors indiscriminately dumped the stocks of Asian and emerging markets companies. PAP has remained profitable throughout the Asian economic crisis. The company's stock  now trades at a deep discount to the valuation levels given other paper industry equities.  PAP shares trade at a Price/Book ratio of 0.74, and at a Price/Sales ratio of 0.8. Earnings are expected to grow 64% next year to $1.41 a share, giving the company a prospective 1999 P/E ratio of 7.2.   Earnings over the next 5 years are projected to grow 16% a year.  The stock has broken its downtrend line and is ready to move strongly to the upside. (10/20/98)

  QUOTE       CHART       BROKER RESEARCH   MESSAGE BOARDS  SEC FILINGS
GRL (Gulf Indonesia): Yes we know it's technically a Canadian company but it does its oil exploration in Indonesia. This oil exploration stock has been beaten up by the twin negatives of low oil prices and exposure to the Indonesian economy. When negative sentiment rains it pours. With either a stabilization in the Indonesian political situation or an uptick in oil prices this stock will jump skyward. Yes Virginia, we do think Santa Claus also likes this stock--a gift at present prices.  
 QUOTE       CHART       BROKER RESEARCH   MESSAGE BOARDS  SEC FILINGS
PSNRY ( PT Pasifik Satelit Nusantara): PSNRY is a development stage provider of communications services in Asia. The company  is pursuing 3 main lines of business. Xpress Connection provides satellite based rural telephony.  The company's current revenues come from this division's leasing of satellite transponders. The company is currently in talks to expand the Xpress service to the Philippines. Xpress has started a new business orientated service called Private Line which is targeting businesses with its low cost service. Private Line will produce higher profit margins than the regular Xpress service. The rate of Xpress's expansion depends on the pace of Indonesian economic recovery. PSNRY's Multi-Media Asia division is developing a multimedia communications system which will combine voice, video, and data. This service is expected to be operational by late 1999 with service in Indonesia, Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh.   The company's third division holds the greatest promise. 33% owned PT Asia Cellular Satellite will provide satellite based cellular voice and data services to subscribers when it starts in early 1999. The service will be offered in 8 Asian nations when it goes on line next year.  We believe that PSNRY will experience exponential growth once it begins full operations next year. The company will be given an added boost by a recovery in Asian economies next year. This satellite provider's stock offers a chance to buy great growth potential without paying the type of over inflated price that less promising growth stories (i.e. internet stocks) currently command.  
  QUOTE       CHART       BROKER RESEARCH   MESSAGE BOARDS  SEC FILINGS

 

SOUTH KOREA In one year it has gone from penthouse to doghouse. Judging from current news reports you would think the country was about to disappear off the face of the map.  News flash--it's not. The market has fallen below December's lows because of financial troubles at several large chaebol and because of a wholesale dumping of emerging market stocks by skittish fund managers. Despite the negative sentiment, we believe now is the perfect time to load up on South Korean stocks. Investor psychology is at a lowpoint despite the meaningful economic reforms implemented.  The following South Korean stocks are the best ways to play this market: 
     MESSAGE BOARDS 
PKX (Pohang Iron and Steel):The world's lowest cost steel producer (which has remained profitable throughout the crisis)  is selling at firesale prices of  7.4x this year's earnings and 4.5x next year's. The PEG ratio is just 0.45 on next year's estimates. The stock, 50% off it's 52 week highs, has completed a double bottom and is poised to rise.
   QUOTE       CHART       BROKER RESEARCH   MESSAGE BOARDS  SEC FILINGS
KEP (Korea Electric Power): KEP holds the South Korean electricity monopoly. The stock has been badly beaten up by the fall in the Won. Increased debt sevicing costs of dollar denominated debt will cause it to turn a loss this year. It seems to have passed the worst of it's problems and the stock is holding the December lows. Since South Korea isn't about to become a candle powered nation, we know the company will still be here next year. A return to profitability is expected in 1999. Now is the time to start accumulating this one.  
  QUOTE       CHART       BROKER RESEARCH   MESSAGE BOARDS  SEC FILINGS
SKM (SK Telecom): SKM is a $2 billion cellular company. The combination of South Korea's problems and a meddlesome parent company has whalloped the stock price.  It has remained profitable throughout the crisis unlike many world cellular providers who have never turned a profit. It is the cheapest cellular co. around, trading at 15.8 times 1998 estimates and 10.5 times next year's. The stock has held well above December's lows and has emerged from a double bottom. As the cheapest cellphone stock around, we're buying this one.  
 QUOTE       CHART       BROKER RESEARCH   MESSAGE BOARDS  SEC FILINGS

 

THAILAND: A resurfacing of Asia panic has slammed this country's markets once again--unjustly in our view. The country has made serious strides to reform its economy and to end the endemic corruption that had pervaded every aspect of economic life.   This latest market swoon is just an example of the "it's an emerging market so we must dump it--they're all alike, don't you know" mentality that is rampant among inexperienced fund managers. Now is the time to get into Thailand. 
     MESSAGE BOARDS 
TC (Thai Capital Fund):This closed end fund is trading at the lower premium of the 2 Thai funds. Even at a 26% premium to NAV (down from nearly 90%) we like this fund as the best way to participate in Thailand's recovery. The recovery potential in the Thai market far outweighs having to pay a premium for this fund.  
 QUOTE       CHART       BROKER RESEARCH   MESSAGE BOARDS  SEC FILINGS

 

INDIA: 2 days of nuclear testing trounced the Indian markets. We believe the market overreacted. India has avoided most of Asia's problems and was a buy even before the tests. The best time to buy is when the "blood's in the streets", and that time is now. The economy is continuing to grow strongly and any sanctions will have limited effect. With all of the Indian closed end funds trading at discounts of near 20% this is the time to visit India. 
     MESSAGE BOARDS 
IFN (India Fund): Of the closed end funds, we prefer IFN which is a 20% discount to NAV. The fund tends to invest in many more growth orientated companies than other Indian funds do. We like this over a 3 to 4 year timespan.  
 QUOTE       CHART       BROKER RESEARCH   MESSAGE BOARDS  SEC FILINGS

 

ZNH(China Southern Airlines): Lower passenger traffic resulting from Asia's financial turmoil has hammered this stock down 67%.  As one of the largest airlines in a rapidly expanding market, we like this stock for its turnaround potential. The stock has recently been slammed as investors again dumped anything Asia related. The stock   successfully defended a retest of its lows and has completed a double bottom. At 8.2 times next years e.p.s. estimates this company is a bargain.   
 QUOTE       CHART       BROKER RESEARCH   MESSAGE BOARDS  SEC FILINGS

 

SHI(Shanghai Petrochemical): A slowdown in Chinese growth and the wholesale dumping of emerging markets stocks have both contributed to this stock trading at all time lows.   The company's profits have slumped but we believe this is the bottom. Management plans an aggressive expansion plan to double the size of the company in the next 3 years. This growth, along with a recovery in its markets and a return to more normal levels of investor sentiment towards Asian issues, should lead to outsized gains for this equity over the coming year. At 14.9X this year's and 10.5x next year's estimates this growing company trades at a discount to its international peers and is a good way to go long a recovery in sentiment towards Asia.
   QUOTE       CHART       BROKER RESEARCH   MESSAGE BOARDS  SEC FILINGS

 

ROS (Rostelkom): The Russian stock market has been beaten down 40% since the beginning of the year on a combination of disappointment with the pace of progress in the Russian government and a blind dumping of emerging market equities. Sorry Mr. Market Guru, but our little brains do not believe all emerging markets rhyme with Southeast Asia. In between sackings of cabinet members the Russian economy has been making steady, although slow, progress. Rostelkom is the national telco and is poised to grow as the Russian telecommunications infrastructure is improved. It still puzzles us why some investors find the slow growing Baby Bells bargains at 20x earnings and view faster growing emerging markets telcos priced at 10x earnings as bad investments. Perhaps they've been listening to too many analysts whose companies do large amounts of underwriting business with the Baby Bells? We have the opposite view of these manipulated investors and find the beaten down ROS a bargain at these levels. Trading at 9.3 times this year's earnings, with a PEG of 0.69 (based on '98 estimates), this company is expected to grow 13.5% a year over the next 5 years. We view it as a core portfolio holding (provided that you get some Dramamine to stomach the seesaw Russian market). 
  QUOTE       CHART       BROKER RESEARCH   MESSAGE BOARDS  SEC FILINGS

 

MBK (Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi): What, you like a japanese bank? Yes we do. We believe that all of the bad news has already been priced into the Japanese banking sector. MBK is the largest Japanese bank and has the financial muscle to make it through the current recession and bad loan problems. The stock has been oversold down to multi year lows. We view the extreme pessimism surrounding the banking sector (and Asian markets in general) as a positive. It allows us to purchase quality companies like MBK at depression level prices. We look for a strong recovery by MBK over the coming years.  
  QUOTE       CHART       BROKER RESEARCH   MESSAGE BOARDS  SEC FILINGS

 

MDM (Medpartners): The stock of Medpartners is trading at multi year lows. This manager of healthcare delivery networks has been hurt by a multitude of woes: a failed merger with Phycor, large restructuring charges, and rising client operating costs. We believe management is taking the necessary steps to return the company to growth and profitability.  A spinoff or sale of the fast growing pharmacy benefits unit is a distinct possibility. With overwhelmingly negative sentiment towards the stock, and a depressed valuation of 11.8 times next years earnings with a PEG of 0.56, we say now is the perfect time to go long MDM. 
  QUOTE       CHART       BROKER RESEARCH   MESSAGE BOARDS  SEC FILINGS

 

OLS (Olsten):  This provider of temporary staffing, home health care services, and medical staffing has been hurt by rising costs in the healthcare division. The stock's price has been beaten down accordingly and not a cheery word can be found about the company among the many market pundits. The stock has completed a double bottom and we believe is poised to rise. Revenues are still growing strongly and management is taking effective steps to cut costs in the healthcare division. At a current year's PE of 11.9, and at 9.9 times 1999 earnings with a PEG of 0.7, we regard the profitable OLS as a healthy prescription for profits. 
  QUOTE       CHART       BROKER RESEARCH   MESSAGE BOARDS  SEC FILINGS

 

ASL (Ashanti Goldfields): This Ghana based goldminer has been beaten down along with the rest of the gold sector. The acquisitive ASL has been hurt by the slide in gold prices but has managed to remain profitable unlike many of its loss ridden peers. We see limited potential for further central bank gold sales. We see the gold price rising on any future hints of inflation (yes we know some of you will say inflation has been permanently vanquished--but we say the UK just reported a monthly inflation figure at a 5 year high), or on any sharp breakdown in the US equity market. We look for ASL to rise faster than its peers when the inevitable upside breakout in gold prices occurs.  
 QUOTE       CHART       BROKER RESEARCH   MESSAGE BOARDS  SEC FILINGS

 

PAKISTAN: Pakistan has been hit by a myriad of woes: endemic government corruption, violence in the financial center Karachi, government intransigence, and fears of an escalating arms race with India. While we don't have any great hopes of the government doing anything but remaining mired in disarray, we do believe that as fears of an arms race die down and sentiment towards Asian emerging markets improves the stock market will experience a sharp pop to the upside. 
     MESSAGE BOARDS 
PKF (Pakistan Investment Fund): The best way to play the coming jump in the Pakistani market is through the closed end PKF which is trading at all time lows and at a large discount to NAV.   
QUOTE       CHART       BROKER RESEARCH   MESSAGE BOARDS  SEC FILINGS

 

TNT (A.O. Tatneft):  This Russian oil producer's stock has been slammed down 50% since its late March NYSE debut. The collapse of the Russian market and   extreme weakness in the oil sector have combined to drive TNT's shares down.   We believe that the market has over reacted to the situation in Russia  and the Russian market is poised to rebound. Despite the rouble, the rubble in the aisles of   Moscow's exchange is only temporary. The Russian market will rebound after the Asia/emerging markets hysteria subsides.  We look for TNT to out pace the Russian markets.  The oil price has bottomed out. The oil sector is poised to move higher in anticipation of a partial recovery in Asia later this year.  Trading at 12 times this year's estimates, we look for TNT to benefit from the twin recoveries in oil and Russia. This stock should double over the next 18 months. We say go long.  

 QUOTE       CHART       BROKER RESEARCH   MESSAGE BOARDS  SEC FILINGS

       

SMALL CHANGE OPINION MORE LONG OPINION TODAY'S CHART

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Last modified: April 03, 2001

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