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Posts Tagged ‘DANG’

The unofficial tech IPO calendar for 2011

After a few terrible years for IPOs, some exciting technology companies look like they’re ready to step up to the IPO plate in 2011 or 2012. Here’s an unofficial list of 23 tech companies that – according to rumors from the Wall Street Journal and TechRice among other sources – might go to market this year or next:

star-icon-smallstar-icon-smallstar-icon-smallstar-icon-small 58.com IPO? China’s for-profit version of Craigslist.org, 58.com’s got a robust user base. A recent browse through the site’s classified ads in Beijing showed more than 1.2 million listings for people looking for roommates – and that’s just in one city! The site ranks 34th in online traffic in China, according to Alexa.com.

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star-icon-smallstar-icon-smallstar-icon-smallstar-icon-small 360buy.com IPO? The third-largest online retailer in China, 360buy.com just secured a nice chunk of change from Wal-Mart. They got more than $500 million in all. As I wrote previously, 360buy.com controls 2.5 percent of the e-commerce market in China. That may not sound like much, but that’s more than 3.5 times the e-commerce marketshare enjoyed by competitor China Dangdang, Inc. (NYSE:DANG).

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star-icon-smallstar-icon-smallstar-icon-small Demand Media IPO? A content factory that uses an army of freelancers to churn out “How To” articles, Demand Media has turned the written word into a commodity on eHow.com. All told, eHow produces enough text to fill more than four English language Wikipedia’s every single year. And their so-called “evergreen” articles aren’t pegged to specific dates, so they’ve got a very long shelf-life of search-engine friendly content that’s perfectly suited for advertisements.

Update: Demand Media IPO’d on Jan. 26, 2011 under ticker symbol DMD. Check out my latest post on the company: Will Demand Media’s (DMD) stock recover from Google shock? Absolutely.

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star-icon-smallstar-icon-smallstar-icon-smallstar-icon-smallstar-icon-small Facebook IPO? I can’t say much that hasn’t already been said about Facebook, except this: they’re the only Web-based company in U.S. that’s positioned to truly challenge Google in the coming years. As they expand into search, virtual goods, e-commerce and mobile, Facebook seems to be taking over the internet. Indeed, the site currently accounts for 25 percent of ALL pageviews in the U.S. Even with a $75 billion+ valuation, Facebook still looks cheap to me.

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star-icon-smallstar-icon-smallstar-icon-smallstar-icon-small Groupon IPO? Groupon’s found the holy grail of online marketing: a simply way to marry coupons and local businesses. To use it, just give Groupon your email address and they send you a daily offer from a local business. If you like the offer (which is often a coupon or gift card that’ll save you 50 percent or more at a local restaurant, hobby shop, etc.), you can buy the coupon, print it out and redeem it anytime before the expiry date. The company’s already rejected a $6 billion buyout offer from Google, and they’re in the early stages of expanding into China. The only problem? Google’s got Groupon on their hit list now, and an all-out war is probably in the making.

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star-icon-smallstar-icon-smallstar-icon-small Hulu.com? A streaming video site with backing from media heavyweights like News Corp. (NASDAQ:NWSA), Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS), and NBC Universal, Hulu claims to be operating at a profit with 2010 revenues around $260 million. The company’s biggest competitor is streaming giant Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX), which now has a market cap of $9.6 billion.

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star-icon-smallstar-icon-smallstar-icon-small Jiayuan IPO? The leading online dating site in China, Jiayuan’s the 55th most-visited site in China, and it boasts at least 25 million members. The company makes money by charging for memberships (about $6 a month for a “Diamond Membership”), selling virtual currency and other romantic add-ons. Jiayuan has attracted capital from New Oriental Education & Technology Group (NYSE: EDU) among other investors.

Update: Jiayuan shares started trading on May 12, 2011 under ticker “DATE” on the NASDAQ. Check out my latest post on the company: Jiayuan.com IPO: 3 reasons to invest in Chinese dating site.

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star-icon-smallstar-icon-smallstar-icon-small LinkedIn IPO? A social networking site for professionals, LinkedIn boasts more than 90 million members from around the world. The company lacks the sex appeal of some of the other tech IPOs on the docket, but it does seem like its network might be easier to monetize than, say, Twitter, since it can capitalize on hiring solutions, advertising aimed at professionals and premium landing pages.

Update: LinkedIn IPO’d on May 19, 2011 under ticker symbol “LNKD.” Check out my latest post on the company: 3 reasons NOT to invest in LinkedIn IPO.

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star-icon-smallstar-icon-smallstar-icon-small LivingSocial IPO? The biggest and most well-known Groupon competitor, LivingSocial offers daily deals from local and national retailers. LivingSocial got a big boost when it announced that Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) was investing $175 million in the company. Soon after, LivingSocial offered its members a $20 Amazon gift card for just $10, and they netted both companies more than $13 million up front in the deal.

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star-icon-smallstar-icon-smallstar-icon-small Nuomi IPO? An ultra-deep discount coupon site, Nuomi’s fighting for attention in what will soon be a very crowded market. Still, they’ve got decent ownership in Oak Pacific – the parent company of “China’s Facebook”: RenRen. And they’ve got a decent idea: do as Groupon does. The company sells coupons online for a limited time. At least one theater owner who partnered with Nuomi was thrilled with the results: “I’d say this is a miracle,” producer Lei Zile told the Global Times last July. “I’ve talked to older producers about this and they all said it was a miracle in the history of stage plays. 100,000 tickets were sold in one day. You could call it encouraging.”

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star-icon-smallstar-icon-smallstar-icon-small Pandora IPO? An online music streaming site, Pandora grew out of the Music Genome Project, which attempts to categorize music based on more than 400 variables. Using that information, Pandora can build “custom” radio stations after you’ve entered a song or band that you like. The site’s enjoyed a big surge in popularity with wider-spread adoption of smartphones that allow streaming music anywhere, anytime. Despite the fact that Pandora shelled out more than $30 million in royalties in 2009, the company still managed to make its first profit that year, netting some $50 million. In 2010, profits were estimated to be around $100 million largely on the strength of premium ad-free streaming accounts and partnerships with car manufacturers that are installing Pandora direct from the factory.

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star-icon-smallstar-icon-smallstar-icon-smallstar-icon-small Qunar IPO? An online travel booking site in China, Qunar’s Web traffic is pacing Ctrip.com’s (NASDAQ:CTRP). Both companies operate in the same niche, but Ctrip’s more well known in the West since its IPO came in 2003. Since 2003, shares in Ctrip have risen more than 750 percent. Competition in the sector seems to be heating up as Tencent Holdings, Ltd. (HKG:0700) recently invested in 17u.com, another Chinese travel site that’s currently a distant third behind Ctrip and Qunar.

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star-icon-smallstar-icon-smallstar-icon-smallstar-icon-smallstar-icon-small Renren IPO? A glaring example of the copyright issues that plague China, when RenRen.com launched in 2005 as XiaoNei.com, the site looked like it was an official Facebook product. It even identified itself as “A Mark Zuckerberg Production” at the bottom of its pages. After getting bought out by Oak Pacific Interactive in 2006, the company’s since tried to carve its own niche – and its done well. RenRen.com currently has more than 160 million registered users in China, and it’s the country’s 16th most-visited site.

Update: RenRen went public on May 5, 2011. Shares have collapsed more than 30 percent since then. Check out my latest post on RENN: RenRen IPO: 5 things you don’t know about ‘China’s Facebook.’

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star-icon-smallstar-icon-smallstar-icon-smallstar-icon-small Sunity IPO? A Chinese version of Zynga, Sunity Online Entertainment Ltd. makes Web-based games and will soon start launching mobile apps, according to the AP. The company racked up $9.54 million in revenue in 2010, up from $8.25 million in 2009. Sunity generates 52 percent of its revenue from Qihang (QHG) – a subscription-based cards and chess game, according to Gaming-Hub.com. Another 8 percent of the company’s revenue comes from Han Dynasty Game (HDG) – a free Chinese mythology role-playing game that makes money off the sale of virtual goods.

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star-icon-smallstar-icon-smallstar-icon-smallstar-icon-small Skype IPO? Skype’s VoIP services offer businesses and individuals a free or low-cost way to make international calls, host video conferences and shares files online. With the company’s recent $100 million acquisition of mobile video streaming service Qik, it’s clear Skype’s getting aggressive about making a push into the smartphone market.

Update: Microsoft acquired Skype on May 10, 2011 for $8.5 billion.

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star-icon-smallstar-icon-smallstar-icon-smallstar-icon-smallstar-icon-small Taobao IPO? It’s unclear whether or not Taobao will IPO in 2011 or 2012, but it is, hands down, my favorite stock on this list. Taobao controls 75 percent of the e-commerce market in China with it’s psuedo-eBay-style site. There, consumers can buy products from other consumers or businesses at auction or at set prices, although auction-style buying seems to have fallen out of favor on the site. Credit Suisse analysts expect the e-commerce market to more than quadruple in China by 2015, and Taobao will easily be the biggest beneficiary of those gains. They seem to have seen the writing on the wall, too, as the company’s investing $3 billion to $4.5 billion into a warehouse network that will make shipping throughout China more efficient.

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star-icon-smallstar-icon-smallstar-icon-smallstar-icon-small Taomee’s 61.com IPO? A Chinese social networking site aimed at children and parents, 61.com has some 20 million users ages 6 to 14, and Forbes reported revenue projections of more than $30 million in 2010. The subscription-based site lets kids hang out in virtual worlds (the Seers for the boys and the Moles for mixed-gender users), and parents are invited, too.

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star-icon-smallstar-icon-smallstar-icon-smallstar-icon-small Tudou IPO? While they may be playing second fiddle to Youku.com, Inc. (NYSE:YOKU), video streaming site Tudou.com gets nearly as much traffic. The site’s ranked by Alexa.com as the 11th most-visited Web site in China. Youku.com’s ranked as the 10th most-visited site. Youku’s spectacular November IPO could foreshadow another buying frenzy in Tudou even though its unclear when or how either company will get profitable.

Update: Despite an ongoing legal battle between Tudou’s CEO and his ex-wife, the company appears to be moving closer and closer to an IPO. Check out my latest post on the company: Tudou IPO: Is Tudou stock a buy?

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star-icon-smallstar-icon-smallstar-icon-smallstar-icon-smallstar-icon-small Twitter IPO? Microblogging site Twitter still isn’t profitable, but it looks like it’s getting serious about making money after staggering valuations put the company’s market cap around $3.7 billion. Twitter appointed its former COO Dick Costolo as CEO late last year, and Costolo’s tasked with ramping up revenues. A report out yesterday by online research firm e-Marketer Inc. estimates the company will generate $150 million in ad revenues in 2011 and $250 million by 2012. I’ve also blogged in the past about what I see as Twitter’s secret key to making money.

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star-icon-smallstar-icon-smallstar-icon-small VANCL IPO? An up-and-coming online clothing retailer in China, Vancl.com’s got excellent pedigree in site founder Chen Nian who sold his last project, Joyo.cn, to Amazon. Vancl.com’s focus on clothing has helped it capture nearly 30 percent of all online clothing sales in China, and the company expects its warehouse space to triple by the end of the year. Last year’s sales at Vancl were expected to be up more than 300 percent, according Businessweek.com.

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star-icon-smallstar-icon-smallstar-icon-smallstar-icon-small Yandex IPO? My second-favorite stock on this list, Yandex.ru is likely among the least well-known of the stocks, too. Expect to hear a lot more about Yandex if the company IPOs on the NASDAQ. The leading search engine site in Russia, Yandex claims revenue spiked by 43 percent to $410 million last year. Google holds the No. 2 slot in Russian search engine usage and the American search company posted revenue of some $69 million in Russia in 2009. Yandex.ru is the most-visited site in Russia and the 25th most-visited site in the world, per Alexa.

Update: Yandex IPO’d on May 24, 2011. Check out my latest: Yandex IPO: 5 reasons to invest in Yandex stock.

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star-icon-smallstar-icon-small Zhenai IPO? A Chinese dating site, Zhenai.com claims more than 26 million registrations as of August 2010. While the site gets far less traffic than its biggest competitor Jiayuan, Zhenai adds a human touch to the matchmaking process by having trained matchmakers help users find the best possible matches.

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star-icon-smallstar-icon-small Zynga IPO? An online game maker, Zynga’s most famous for its iPhone and Facebook apps Farmville and Cityville. The company boasts a market cap of $5.8 billion on SharesPost. Sound like a lot? At least Zynga’s not having much trouble making money. Zynga likely generated revenue of more than $500 million last year, Lou Kerner, an analyst at Wedbush Securities, tells Dealbook. That’s up from about $300 million in 2009. That’s not bad, especially since Kerner estimates the company has profit margins of some 20 percent.

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China’s e-commerce market dominated by four companies

With Credit Suisse (NYSE:CS) predicting that China’s e-commerce market will more than quadruple by 2015, you can expect a lot of investors eager to capitalize on revenue growth that might be as high as 100+ percent per year. Here’s a short list of the Top 4 leading e-commerce sites in China per 247WallSt.

Company % of online sales in China Site traffic rank in China Stock ticker
Taobao 75% 3 Owned by Alibaba Group
Paipai 10% 45 Owned by Tencent
360buy 2.5% 28 N/A
Dangdang 0.7 76 DANG

Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) also operates Joyo.com in China. The site currently has a traffic rank of 75 in China, according to Alexa.com. Speculation has been running high that Taobao.com and 360buy.com could IPO as early as this fall.

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Top three best China tech stocks for 2011

The Chinese tech stock sector is one of the few that seemed unfazed by inflationary fears in 2010. This year, too, looks promising for Chinese tech stocks, particularly on the heels of an enthusiastic 150-page dossier Credit Suisse (NYSE:CS) produced in an attempt to predict where the Chinese economy will be in 2015.

Across all sectors in China, Credit Suisse sees e-commerce out-performing all other sectors over the next four years. Indeed, the company expects China’s e-commerce market to more than quadruple to $311 billion by 2015, Forbes reports. That would make the Chinese e-commerce market as big as the U.S. e-commerce market.

The biggest beneficiary of that growth will be Taobao, an e-commerce site that’s part of the privately held Jack Ma empire (aka as the Alibaba Group). Despite the fact that shares in Taobao are as-yet unlisted, the company still tops my list of the top three best China tech stocks for 2011:

1) Taobao.com. Alibaba’s Taobao CFO told Reuters last week that the company has “no IPO plans for now,” but I wouldn’t be surprised if they do decide to IPO by the end of the year. Taobao currently controls 75 percent of all e-commerce transactions in China, according to 247WallSt.com, and the company’s serious about expanding its influence. Along with Alibaba, Taobao’s dumping $3 billion to $4.5 billion into a warehouse network that will make shipping throughout the country more efficient. If shares in Taobao or the Alibaba Group don’t IPO this year, there’s still an interesting play on the company: Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) owns a 39 percent stake in Alibaba.

2) E-Commerce China Dangdang, Inc. (NYSE:DANG). Dangdang is the smallest of the four major e-commerce sites in China (behind Taobao, Tencent’s Paipai and 360buy.com). The company controls just 0.7 percent of China’s online transactions, but their recent IPO in the U.S. should give them plenty of ammo to target a larger market share. Dangdang planned to use $25 million to $30.0 million from its IPO to broaden the company’s product categories; $25 million to $30.0 million to expand fulfillment capabilities; and $25.0 million to $30.0 million to enhance its technology infrastructure. The company appears to be closely following Amazon.com’s growth in the U.S. After starting as a bookseller, they’re now expanding into other higher-margin product areas.

3) SINA Corporation (USA) (NASDAQ:SINA). No stranger to the market, SINA Corporation had its IPO more than a decade ago. After tumbling to $1.56 per share during depths of the Dotcom bust, shares have climbed 4,900 percent to $78 per share. The Web portal company had a great 2010, returning more than 100 percent as the company has shown a consistent ability to innovate and expand its offerings. SINA launched a Twitter-like microblog site, Sina Weibo, in 2009 that’s helped www.sina.com.cn grow to be the fourth most-visited Web site in China, according to Alexa.com. The company also offers streaming video, online games, email services, Web search and news. Best of all, SINA’s EPS rose more than 45 percent during each of the first three quarters in 2010.

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Youku stock crumbles after silent period ends

After the mandatory silent period lifted yesterday on Youku.com, Inc. (NYSE:YOKU) and E-Commerce China Dangdang, Inc. (NYSE:DANG), stock analysts were finally allowed to weigh in on whether or not investors should buy into the companies. Despite powerful IPOs, analysts weren’t too enthusiastic on the so-called “YouTube” (Youku) and “Amazon” (Dangdang) of China, though.

Piper Jaffray gave both stocks a neutral rating. Goldman Sachs and Cowen concurred. Goldman’s James Mitchell pointed out that Youku “could get profitable quickly,” though according to CNBC.com, “perhaps as soon as late this year or early next year.”

Still, Mitchell was careful to point out that YouKu faces rapidly rising costs as video content producers demand more money for their product. Licensing fees for the movies that YouKu sells as online streams rose by more than 90 percent in 2010. If that trend continues, Youku has little hope of making money by selling streaming video, and the company will have to rely heavily on some form of ad-supported site content.

The demure reception by analysts seemed to cool investor excitement over the stocks yesterday as Youku fell more than 9 percent to $34.09 a share and Dangdang dropped 8.3 percent.

Still, the story’s complicated by the strange, almost-maniacal outburst Dangdang’s CEO posted on a Twitter-like site in China on Sunday evening. Guoqing Li was apparently miffed that Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) bankers talked him into offering Dangdang shares at $16. “I held back a breath and silently cursed you motherf**kers,” Li wrote online.

Even after the substantial drop in price yesterday, though, Dangdang’s shares are up 94 percent since the company’s IPO and Youku’s shares are up 166 percent. Only time will tell if the companies can hold investor interest long enough for them to start making serious money.

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DangDang (NYSE:DANG) founder labels Morgan Stanley “motherf**kers”

If there’s one thing that’s truly refreshing about Chinese tech startups, it’s the fact that the CEOs there aren’t afraid to sound off like teenage boys when they feel like they’ve been wronged. It’s a nice reprise from the overly-sanitized, politically-correct, speak-words-without-actually-saying-anything, VOICE-OF-GOD tone that American CEOs have mastered.

Case in point, the CEO of E-Commerce China Dangdang, Inc. (NYSE:DANG), Guoqing Li, railed publicly against Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) over the weekend after watching the Dangdang shares he sold at $16 more than double to $33 in just over a month of trading on the NYSE. The CEO’s fictional “rock song” lyrics don’t pull any punches:

“Lyrics for a rock song: You (Morgan Stanley) gave out a valuation of 1-6 billion, but in Hong Kong the opening statements stated only 0.78 billion, stop f**king acting,” TechRice quotes Mr. Li as writing in his microblog account on the Twitter-like service Sina Weibo. “You f**kers knew first day of launch that valuation would be 2 billion, but you still priced USD 16 per share, which comes to 1.1 billion. My CFO was in panic mode, I held back a breath and silently cursed you motherf**kers.”

“I regret not giving the job to Goldman Sachs,” Mr. Li went on in response to a microblogger identified as a Morgan Stanley employee. “I am here openly criticizing investment banks, criticizing Morgan Stanley, what, Morgan Stanley can’t be criticized? Not be cursed? You foreigners’ flunky!”

Mishi fired back on the Twitter-like microblog platform, Sina Weibo, saying Mr. Li possesses an “IQ so low you don’t even understand the basic principles of being human.”

Morgan Stanley quickly issued a rebuke: “These comments are offensive, highly unprofessional and do not reflect industry practices. We condemn such behavior that can risk damaging a company’s brand and reputation,” the bank said in an official statement.

Now that the IPO silent period is over, it seems the kid gloves have come off. It could be a risky bit of marketing on the part of Mr. Li, or he might genuinely be miffed that he sold a huge stake in his own company for far too little. My guess? It’s a bit of both.

Mr. Li’s smart enough to know that an under-priced IPO can lead to a whole lot of positive PR, but its got to be frustrating watching your shares skyrocket and knowing that you’ve missed out on a few hundred million dollars in your pocket. I think I’d be doing some cursing, too. I just might not have made it public.

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Has Dangdang finally stopped dropping (NYSE:DANG)?

After a spectacular 87 percent climb during it’s IPO on Dec. 9, shares in E-Commerce China Dangdang Inc. (NYSE:DANG) started unwinding. The so-called “Chinese Amazon.com” lost 25 percent of its value over the past seven trading days, and I started sweating my early investment in the company.

Still, a decent 6+ percent rise in the stock’s share price today has me feeling a bit better, and I’m hoping prices are starting to look attractive to the buy-and-hold crowd.

Overall, I’m bullish on Dangdang, and I remain convinced the company has a great shot at succeeding – even in the crowded Chinese Internet market. Here’s why:

Despite fears of online competition poaching clients from DANG, the company is the undisputed market leader in online book sales in China. Their client base is literate, tech-savvy and comfortable making purchases online. They also helped the company pull in $2.4 million in net income last year.

Still, Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) makes the majority of its income from products other than books, and Dangdang has taken note. The company started moving into other retail niches last year.

The biggest hurdle to widespread success for Dangdang comes in the form of China’s online shopping behemoth, Taobao.com. Taobao is the third most-visited Web site in China, according to rankings from Alexa.com, while DangDang.com ranks 75th.

DangDang must leverage their experience in the online books market to compete with Taobao, but they might be able to do that if they can form the right partnerships and come up with a decent pipeline for the delivery of digital media on a Kindle-like device.

We can’t forget that Amazon’s success has come in fits and starts, too. Acquisitions like Audible.com, Zappos.com and IMdB as well as in-house developments like cloud computing offerings, Amazon videos on demand and the Kindle have transformed the company right in front of our eyes. The right management could do the same for Dangdang.

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E-Commerce China Dangdang: Buy the dip? (NYSE:DANG)

E-Commerce China Dangdang (NYSE:DANG)

After ending its first week of trading up 105 percent, it’s hard to imagine that there wouldn’t be some profit-taking in E-Commerce China Dangdang (NYSE:DANG). Now, it’ll be interesting to see what stance the real money takes on DANG. Is now the time to buy and hold?

Since launching in 2000, E-Commerce China Dangdang has slowly positioned itself as a sort of Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) of the East. China’s leading online book seller, DANG controls 50 percent of the online market for the $4.6 billion book publishing industry on the mainland. In the first nine months of the year, DANG has brought in $2.4 million in net income, and that growth seems to be accelerating.

Quarterly growth in net sales was up 295% over last year according to the company’s latest earnings release. That’s good enough to make DANG’s business more than twice the size of Amazon.cn – the Chinese version of Amazon.com. Still, investors seemed more than willing to jump ship on DANG today as the stock started declining with the opening bell and kept falling throughout the day.

When it was all said and done, DANG lost more than 11 percent. That doesn’t breed confidence if you bought in on Friday, but investors can take solace in the fact that another Chinese tech stock, Youku.com, Inc. ADS (NYSE:YOKU), fell even further. Something of a Chinese version of YouTube.com, shares in Youku.com plunged nearly 19 percent today after the company’s IPO last Wednesday – the same day of DANG’s IPO.

The choice in the battle between the two stocks (Youku and DangDang) is obvious in my mind: go with the company that’s actually making money right now; not the company that could be making money five years from now. That’s DangDang. And, if you’re willing to ride the roller coaster for a couple years, I don’t expect you’ll be fretting over an 11 percent drop in a single day. Rome, as they say, wasn’t built in a day. Neither was Amazon, and neither will China’s leading online e-commerce site. If DANG proves to be that site, it could be rewarding. Just take a look at Amazon’s chart over the past 13 years, and you’ll see a stock that’s up 10,000 percent. That’s a result I’d be happy with – even if it takes 13 years.

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