Lex 2010-03-16

BYD is a stock engineered to outperform: it’s Chinese, it’s green, and Warren Buffett loves it. Last year the Shenzhen-based battery-maker turned automaker, whose Hong Kong shares are 28 per cent-owned by the Sage of Omaha, delivered a 439 per cent return – the best of all 40 members of the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index.

There is substance behind that performance. Full-year figures, released after the market close on Friday, showed that auto sales were up 127 per cent, as BYD’s cheap gas-powered F3 compact – a Toyota Corolla clone – lured price-conscious first-time buyers in second- and third-tier cities. This month’s agreement with Daimler to develop a new electric vehicle for sale in China, meanwhile, is a genuine landmark: the first time that a Chinese company has offered proprietary technology into a Sino-foreign joint venture, rather than just land, buildings or manpower.

Yet a HK$157bn ($20bn) market capitalisation, just shy of 10 times book value, looks increasingly incongruous. Yes, Beijing is big on clean energy. But BYD, a private company, was naturally not on a list of eight state-appointed “industry consolidators” last year. Even on the most optimistic of forecasts, the contribution of electric vehicles to sales volumes will be negligible for years. Ditto exports of gas vehicles, which accounted for less than 3 per cent of unit sales last year. In BYD’s home market, the gradual removal of stimulus-related subsidies and tax breaks is having a damping effect, especially for smaller models. Total auto sales were down 27 per cent between January and February.

Having delivered a return nine times better than the global auto sector in 2009, BYD has merely kept pace so far this year. Wang Chuanfu, the chairman who went rocketing 103 places up to the top of China’s rich list six months ago, should enjoy the view while he can.

Lex专栏:比亚迪股价还能火多久?
英国《金融时报》 Lex专栏 2010-03-16

比亚迪(BYD)是一只为表现出色而精心设计过的股票:它来自中国,是绿色(环保)的,连沃伦•巴菲特(Warren Buffett)所钟爱它。这位“奥马哈圣贤”(Sage of Omaha)持有比亚迪H股28%的股份。去年,这家总部位于深圳、从一家电池制造商转型而来的汽车制造商实现了439%的回报率——在恒生中国企业指数(Hang Seng China Enterprises Index)全部40只成份股中表现最佳。

这种表现是有着事实基础的。上周五闭市后发布的全年业绩显示,比亚迪汽车销售增长127%,因为使用天然气的廉价紧凑型轿车F3——模仿丰田(Toyota)卡罗拉车型(Corolla)——吸引了二三线城市对价格较为敏感的首次购车者。而本月比亚迪与戴姆勒(Daimler)共同开发在华销售的新型电动汽车的协议,则是一座真正的里程碑:这是中国公司首次向中外合资企业提供专利技术,而不只提供土地、厂房或人力。

然而,比亚迪H股1570亿港元(合200亿美元)的市值看起来越来越不靠谱——市账率仅略低于10倍。没错,中国政府正大力提倡清洁能源。但作为一家私营企业,比亚迪自然不在去年政府指定的8家“产业整合者”之列。即便按照最乐观的预测,电动汽车对销量的贡献在未来数年内都将是可以忽略不计的。天然气汽车的出口亦是如此。去年天然气汽车的出口占行业整体销量的比例还不到3%。在比亚迪的本土市场,与刺激政策相关的补贴和减税措施逐步撤销将产生削减效应,尤其是对小排量车型。今年1至2月汽车总体销量就下降了27%。

比亚迪2009年实现了高出全球行业水平9倍的回报率,而今年迄今为止,仅仅能与行业水平保持同步。6个月前,比亚迪董事长王传福骤升103位,一跃成为中国首富。他应该趁自己还高高在上时,好好享受一下那里的风景。

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