时事新闻:中国股市“不劳而获”的上涨

China's Unearned Upturn

摘要:中国股市的强劲表现与最近有关中国上市公司收益情况的消息对不上号。据麦格理(Macquarie Research)的数据显示,公布了2008年收益报告的公司中有近一半不及分析师的普遍预期,只有约四分之一的企业收益高于预期。

It was a pretty good first quarter for Chinese stocks. Maybe too good.

The Shanghai Composite Index was a global standout, rising more than 30%. Less dramatic was the 3% rise among shares of Chinese companies listed in Hong Kong, known as H-shares.

These performances fly in the face of recent news on Chinese corporate earnings. Nearly half of those firms that reported 2008 results have undershot analysts' consensus forecasts, while only about a quarter have performed better, according to Macquarie Research.

Over January and February, profits at industrial firms slumped 37% from a year earlier. True, that's backward-looking. But it adds credence to the view that even if China's economy has turned a corner, this isn't translating yet into higher profits.

Those bullish on China's economy also point to a surge in bank lending aimed at capitalizing on the government's $586 billion fiscal stimulus.

But neither factor necessarily translates into the kind of increased private or external-sector demand that would truly help company profits.

Analysts are slowly coming around to this point, but may still be too optimistic. Morgan Stanley strategist Jerry Lou points out that it wasn't until March that analysts began to expect H-share earnings to fall in 2009; their consensus forecast is now for a drop of 1.4%. Mr. Lou is looking for a decline of closer to 26%.

So there's room for more reality to make its way into Chinese corporate results, and their stock prices.

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