QPL International has certainly earned its common name, Quick Profit. Incorporated in 1981 under Quality Platers, QPL has put in a stellar share price performance this year in the wake of the international techno-stock bull charge. The company makes integrated circuits, etched lead frames and performs wafer fabrication, making it one of the most integrated semi-conductor companies in Asia. Up until June nothing stirred in the share. Over four years the stock under-performed the Hang Seng index by 52 per cent rising 23.6 per cent against 211 per cent on the index, according to Bloomberg data. In the first half the share was down six per cent. Then 'kebam', the QPL took off reaching a record $7.95 yesterday, up 48 per cent on four years. This close represents an index out-performance on the year-to-date of 172 per cent and a share price gain of 242 per cent. Since June 1 it out-performed the index by 245 per as the share rose 250 per cent, representing an annualised return of 1,236 per cent. Main shareholder Li Tung-fok, with a 42 per cent stake, has seen his personal wealth leap by almost $1 billion as his shares have risen in value from $402 million to $1.38 billion. If you think that looks good check out the warrants. They are due to convert next year at $5. Since April last year they are up 335 per cent and on the year-to-date they are up 1,347 per cent. Since June 1 the warrants are up 9,828 per cent, an annualised return of 1,010,887 per cent - the kind of rise personal fortunes are made of. After calling a buy on the stock at $4.75 in October, Baring Securities analyst Morris Macleod reckons taking profits now is okay. The big deal at QPL is the 38.6 per cent leap in semiconductor sales in the year. This is due to propel net profit in the year to April, 1996, to $341 million, up 68 per cent, with fully diluted earnings per share at 72 cents. In 1997, a 28 per cent rise in profit is expected to $438 million, with earnings per share at 87 cents. QPL has done extremely well in its sector and has benefitted from a squeeze in supply where premium prices can be charged on short lead-time orders. The benefit from this kind of business is said to be at a peak, given more global capacity coming on soon. As the semiconductor business is cyclical investors need to be aware the tables could turn on the firm. In such a capital intensive business QPL's debt to equity gearing ratio over the year has been running at 92 per cent with interest costs at $87 million in 1995. Price earnings ratio on earnings reported in 1996 has jumped from 6.6 to 11 times earnings and from 5.5 times to nine times earnings in 1997. The stock is more than fully valued, analysts say.