China Eastern may fly high on yuan surge, Angang and Magang face mixed fortunes
China Eastern Airlines: Today
China Eastern Airlines Corp (670), whose shareholders voted down a management-favoured stake acquisition by Singapore Airlines and Temasek Holdings in January, may have turned a profit last year of 603 million yuan (HK$671.7 million) on the yuan's strong appreciation, which helped cut its US dollar-denominated debt.
High operating costs and rising fuel prices led to a net loss of 3.3 billion yuan for 2006 despite a 37 per cent jump in revenue to 37.5 billion yuan.
Angang Steel and Maanshan Steel: Today and Thursday
Net profit at Angang Steel (347) is expected to have risen 21 per cent to 8.6 billion yuan despite the rising iron ore costs. Sales may have increased 20 per cent to 65.56 billion yuan from 54.6 billion yuan.
UBS said Asian steelmakers were likely to offset higher iron ore costs through price rises. It recommended a 'buy' on Angang's shares with a target price of HK$20.
Rival Maanshan Iron and Steel (Magang) (323) may not have it as easy as Angang. Fluctuating international raw material prices are expected to hurt profitability as it imports 70 per cent of its iron ore, comapred with Angang, which sources its supply domestically.
Maanshan Steel's net profit last year has probably fallen 6 per cent to 2.24 billion yuan, compared with 2.39 billion yuan a year ago, according to Thomson Financial.
China Merchant Holdings: Tomorrow
Earnings of China Merchant Holdings (144), one of the largest container port operators in the country, is likely to have surged 27 per cent to 2.91 billion yuan last year on strong growth in exports. Last month, it announced plans to acquire a 5.4 per cent stake in Ningbo Port Group for 847 million yuan. But Citigroup doubts if the acquisition will add more than 2 per cent to the net asset value. Expecting export growth to slow to 15 per cent this year and next, the brokerage cut its profit forecasts 5 per cent for both years. It kept a 'hold' call, with its price target unchanged at HK$37.90.
PICC Property & Casualty: Tomorrow
PICC Property & Casualty (2328), the mainland's largest non-life insurer, may report a 156 per cent growth in last year's net profit to about 5.33 billion yuan on strong domestic demand. Sales may have risen 17.7 per cent to 84 billion yuan, says Thomson Financial.
Although PICC's total premiums rose 24 per cent to 88.6 billion yuan last year from 8 per cent in 2006, its market share dropped 2 percentage points to 43 per cent, noted Sally Ng, a UBS analyst. She rated the stock 'neutral' on its continual rise in market penetration.
Want Want China: Wednesday
Want Want China (151), whose shares have been trading below the offer price of HK$3 since their debut on March 26, is a stock pick among some brokerages for its position in the country's snacks industry. Being new, the stock has attracted no profit forecast from brokerages yet.
CLSA has a 'buy' call with a price target of HK$3.74 for just that reason. UBS is bullish on the food maker's performance and has set the company's price-earnings ratio at 23 to 32.5 times.
Yanzhou Coal Mining: Friday
Net profit at Yanzhou Coal Mining (1171) may have risen 32 per cent to 3.14 billion yuan as sales grew 20 per cent to 14.46 billion yuan, according to Thomson Financial. Goldman Sachs said the firm's fundamentals were weak and downgraded the stock from 'neutral' to 'sell.'
Look ahead: Companies reporting this week
Final: Angang Steel, CCT Tech Int'l, China Eastern Airlines, China Power Int'l Development, China Wireless Technologies, CNT Group, Fongs Industries, Fushan Int'l Energy Group, GST Holdings, Guangdong Investment, Luks Group (Vietnam Holdings), Prime Success Int'l Group, Tech Pro Technology Development, Tomson Group
Final: A-S China Plumbing Products, Allied Group, Allied Properties (HK), Arts Optical Int'l Holdings, Baoye Group, Beiren Printing Machinery Holdings, Capxon Int'l Electronic, Catic Shenzhen Holdings, China Aoyuan Property Group, China Foods, China Merchants Holdings (Int'l), China Packaging Group, Computer and Technologies Holdings, DVN (Holdings), Frankie Dominion Int'l, Hembly Int'l Holding, Karce Int'l Holdings, Kasen Int'l Holdings, Lee & Man Holding, Lee Hing Development, Lee Kee Holdings, Mainland Headwear Holdings, Maxx Bioscience Holdings , Perfectech Int'l Holdings, PICC Property & Casualty, Sing Tao News Corp, Sino-Tech Int'l Holdings, SinoCom Software Group, SiS Int'l Holdings, Soundwill Holdings, South China (China), Sun Innovation Holdings, Sunlink Int'l Holdings, TC Interconnect Holdings, Tianjin Capital Environmental Protection, Uni-President China Holdings, USI Holdings, Vedan Int'l (Holdings), Wing On Company, Winsor Properties Holdings, Wongs Int'l (Holdings)