Vipshop Leads Internet Retailer Rally: China OvernightElena Popina
Chinese Internet retailers from Vipshop Holdings Ltd. to LightInTheBox Holding Co. rallied in New York last week on speculation mobile online shopping is boosting sales.
Online fashion retailer Vipshop surged 11 percent, while LightInTheBox, which sells everything from $80 wedding gowns to $2 iPhone gadgets, climbed to a four-month high. Sina Corp., owner of China’s biggest Twitter-like service, capped the biggest gain since November. The Bloomberg China-US Equity Index of the most-traded Chinese stocks in the U.S. rose 3.5 percent to 100.73, the biggest gain since Nov. 15.
Vipshop will probably report this week that revenue surged 136 percent last year while LightInTheBox will post record sales, according to analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Mobile-phone Internet users in China increased 19 percent last year to 500 million, according to a report by China Internet Network Information Center.
“When it comes to Internet-related companies, good numbers in the reports are partly a result of the successful switchover from PC to mobile,” Di Zhou, an equity analyst at Thornburg Investment Management, said by phone Feb. 13. “It’s a monetization story, and the ones that can make a quick transition are the ones to benefit the most.”
China had 618 million Internet customers as of Dec. 31, a 4.6 percent increase from June, the report showed. The number of residents shopping online jumped 25 percent to 302 million in 2013.
Vipshop, based in Guangzhou, advanced to $114.46. The company may report this week that 2013 sales rose to a record $1.64 billion, according to the average estimate of 13 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.
LightInTheBox advanced 6.6 percent to $10.98 last week. Sales grew 45 percent to $289.3 million last year, according to the mean of three analysts’ estimates.
Shanghai-based Sina jumped 4.3 percent to $70.
Baidu Inc., China’s largest search engine company, climbed 3.9 percent to $167.48. The company, which is scheduled to report earnings on Feb. 26, will post a 41 percent jump in sales to a record, according to the average of 19 analysts estimates.
This year and next year will be “very, very crucial for the eventual success of the overall mobile strategy,” Robin Li, founder of Beijing-based Baidu, said during a conference call Oct. 29.
The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index in Hong Kong gained 3 percent last week to 9,933.73. The Shanghai Composite Index advanced 3.5 percent to 2,115.85 in the biggest weekly rally since Sept. 13.