New World Development outperformed the stock market yesterday on continued signs investors were reappraising the company's potential despite a scorching correction in the property sector, analysts said. The counter rose 3.23 per cent to close at $28.70. The increase took New World's gains over the past six sessions to an impressive 22.91 per cent. Over the same period, the property sub-index rose 7.46 per cent and the Hang Seng Index 6.32 per cent. Analysts said the recent show of strength stemmed from a belief that New World might be better placed in Hong Kong than its rivals. Nikko Research Centre chief analyst Steven Thompson said: 'I think that out of all the developers it (New World) is the most likely to meet next year's expectations. It has sold practically all its properties for 1998.' Amsteel Securities managing director Edward Chan said the locked-in sales should provide the firm with a 'degree of comfort'. New World recently announced earnings of $5.31 billion for the year to June, up more than 25 per cent from the previous year. Managing director Henry Cheng Kar-shun said sales of the second and third phases of its Discovery Park development in Tsuen Wan went a considerable way to safeguarding next year's performance. New World's mainland strategy also earned analysts' approval. ING Barings analyst Johnny Wong said the company had the clearest China strategy among Hong Kong property developers. He said the company preferred to tap into the mass market, maximising demand for its products. Mr Wong said its exposure to the mainland was geographically dispersed and had been built up since initial investments in the late 1980s. 'If you strip out infrastructure, mainland earnings will account for 15 to 20 per cent of total earnings in a couple of years,' he said. To a certain extent, however, New World's renaissance appears to stem from the fact that having fallen further than comparable stocks, it is now rebounding faster. Since its recent strength, New World has lost more than 60 per cent from its high for the year of $58.75 on August 8. Cheung Kong, Henderson Land Development and Sun Hung Kai Properties each declined closer to 50 per cent. Mr Wong said: 'For many, it's not a key holding. So when the market slides it's usually one of the the first out. Conversely, it outperforms when the market starts to pick up.' An extra fillip may come from plans to further revamp the firm's organisation. 'They have been looking at possible [spin-offs] for the past six months. When the market calms down they'll probably push them through,' Mr Chan said. Analysts said the firm could list New World Services, incorporated earlier this year with assets of $5.5 billion, and New World China. Earnings to June were boosted by an exceptional gain of $943 million from the October 1995 listing of New World Infrastructure. 'There are enough reasons around to be positive, relative to all the other developers,' one research chief said.