“Multiply Your Money by Solving China’s Water Problem”

Well, I promised that I would catch up and get you the rest of the Asian Growth Stocks teaser companies … this is the one I looked at a couple days ago, a paper mailing from Bryan Tycango that teased three stocks.

The first one was a stock I’d never heard of … Travelsky. Let’s see if he’s going to share brand new stuff for the other two as well.

The next stock is water-related, as you might guess from the headline above. Tycango describes it as “a small company that could multiply your money 9-fold in 5 years by solving China’s worsening water pollution.

So yes, we can confirm that it’s not just analysts who make up numbers — newsletter editors do it, too. Was there a focus group that decided that “9-fold” was more believable than tenfold? Who knows.

Anyhoo, on we proceed, shoes of gum on our feet, sneaking up on our quarry …

Tycango tells us that 70% of China’s waterways are polluted, and 90% of it’s groundwater, and diarrhea and cholera are constant threats.

So how do we solve that?

“… this company has patented state-of-the-art technology for turning polluted water — even filthy, smelly water — into pure, sweet drinking water … over the past 2 years, they’ve built 24 water purification plants in China — each purifying at least 29 million gallons of water a day.”

Nice, specific clue. Something to chew on.

We’re also told that they have $810 million in contracts “in the kitty” — which a boring old analyst would call the “backlog.”

And that their ssales last year were $137 million. So pretty tiny, though Tycango describes that as meaning that “enormous growth is already built in” because of that “kitty.” Good kitty.

We’re told that Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Dubai, and Algeria are also buying this country’s water purification plants.

That, plus they’re apparently “carving out an important niche in another huge market — recycling used motor oil and vegetable oil.”

Apparently, China, the Philippines, Vietnam, Singapore, and Saudi Arabia have installed these oil purification plants.

And the price? The shares are “still under $3” — Tycango expects a double or a triple and a continued march to $20+ as sales explode.

So what is it?

Well, old friends, the Thinkolator hates to disappoint … but we’ve seen this quarry before. This is Hyflux, introduced to us by Roger Conrad back in early April.

The shares have moved up 10 or 15% since then, at the time they were around $2.25 and they’re currently at $2.58 (US — in Singapore dollars they’re up to 3.41). They trade primarily on the Singapore exchange at ticker 600, but also have some action on the pink sheets at HYFXF.

This is usually thought of as primarily an R&D company, but they’ve been coming into their own and winning some big contracts — the biggest was one they just confirmed last month for a big desalination plant in Algeria. The vast majority of their business has been in China, where they’ve developed a large number of water treatment plants (most of which have been spun out into an income trust, Hyflux Water Trust, which I own shares of).

The oil recycling stuff does exist and may be promising, but the letter overstates it a bit — as with many of Hyflux’s projects, most of them are just now in the early stages, relatively few are actually built or operating as far as I can tell.

So what’s not to like? Well, it ain’t cheap. They have freed up capital by getting their Chinese water plants off their books, and they’ve given the Trust the right of first refusal to buy any of their future water plants, so Hyflux itself clearly wants to provide technology and build plants, not own and operate them. The main technology they provide is the membrane, which is the key part of most water purification technologies — and it’s not unique to Hyflux, most other big water companies produce membranes and I have no expertise to share with you about who has the best product. It is a big, competitive business, going up against monsters like Veolia Environnement and GE, so it was probably a nice surprise for investors that they really got that Algeria deal (there was some uncertainty for a while — apparently word got out before it was “final.”

Is it worth your money? They are growing very fast, and it’s clearly an important business with high demand for their products around the world. They’re also fairly expensive, so it’s another scenario where you need to judge how much you want to pay for growth. My guess is that their growth will continue to be very solid, and that they will get their (small) share of the growing world water business, but my guess could be wrong. I personally liked the idea of the company when I heard about them a few months ago, but chose to invest instead in their new Hyflux Water Trust (D7TU in Singapore, HXWTF on the pink sheets — be careful on the pinks if this appeals to you, it only trades a couple thousand dollars a day). I liked the ownership of water plants, with the steady and growing income (since the Trust can buy more plants, and can lever up significantly if opportunity presents itself) … but certainly the trust is unlikely to see the same growth as the parent.

So that’s our little water warrior … any takers?

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Share Your Thoughts

ShowHide Comments (18)
    1. Brook
      Jun 7 2008, 09:14:25 am

      TTEK is the best water stock to own. This stock is recession-proof and continues to climb in a horrible market. This stock is going to be $50 in 2 years at current rates of growth. You can also diversify with water ETF. Powershares PIO has also been extremely stable and growing this year.

    2. Mike
      Jun 7 2008, 10:27:53 am

      interesting..also check out the George Yardes pump on mela
      up from 7.50 to 9.25 in 10 days and if he keeps pumping it a very possible 12-14 in the next month…says the yare getting approval on a new melanoma screener. Dont won but this may be a quick play…Anybody have thoughts on this ?

    3. tor
      Jun 7 2008, 11:35:18 am

      Travis; Love your reports. They are very enducational and fun to read. What do you know about Tom Dyson’s newsletter on what he cals “Chi-america”? These are Chinese companies that have reverse merged into US shell companies that still have symbols so that they can be traded on US exchanges cheaper and faster than in China or Hong Kong. He seems to have a list of about 100 of these. Thanks. Keep up the good work. Victor

    4. EYOUNG
      Jun 7 2008, 11:53:45 am

      Is anyone besides me a bit upset at Yahoo Finance!? They have NO information on HXWTF, nor HYFXF.PK,,, Since they started the real-time streaming, the “show all results for…” link has been inoperable. MOST of the smaller pinks have no information. Very upsetting. Anyone have a good source for info on these pinks? Thanks.

    5. SageNot
      Jun 7 2008, 01:15:00 pm

      Tom Dyson writes the 12% Solution Letter, but I’m not familiar with this Chi-America deal, it m/b in another letter he writes.

    6. G IMBURG
      Jun 7 2008, 02:35:00 pm

      I like PICO also, but I suspect the current housing slump in Las Vegas will slow PICO growth until the builders go back in business. Long term buy and hold should work based on PICO reserves.

    7. jimP
      Jun 7 2008, 03:39:12 pm

      To eYound and Sagenot: I find Bloomberg is often the infosource of first resort these days. Yahoo, MSN, and in my case, Vanguard often don’t do well w/ Pinks, and esp Foreigns. Thompson ain’t bad for news, but B’berg has a lot going—long’s you don’t vote for it’s owner!!!!!!!!!!!!

    8. MotobikeMike
      Jun 7 2008, 07:11:45 pm

      All “pink sheet” stocks can be found at http://www.pinksheets.com. Most of the time, the company data and financial reports can be found there and nowhere else. While you’re there, check out CNRD. They have a P/E of about 4 and still growing. Since they only trade on the pinks, this is a major bargain!!!

    9. sniper
      Jun 7 2008, 09:21:42 pm

      One of the holdings in PIO is Hyflux along with Veolia and numerous other companies. Another water ETF is PHO. Both currently between $22.-$23. per share.

    10. ctripper
      Jun 8 2008, 01:29:14 am

      For more info – company website is here

      Stock is not cheap at around trailing PE of 56. But their revenue CAGR number is quite impressive.

      I read TDWaterhouse allows you to trade in many Asia markets but I have no idea since I am based in Asia anyway (and that explains my name)

    11. Bill Lehmann
      Jun 9 2008, 10:59:18 am

      I bought a bunch of Hyflux a couple years ago at about $1.50. It’s up to the $2.58 now. Etrade lists it on Pink sheets. I’ve bought some othwer Asian Growth recs through Etrade on Hong Kong.

    12. Hugodog
      Jun 12 2008, 04:40:34 pm

      Like Bill, I’ve owned Hyflux for several years and after split adjustments am up over 40% year and just plan to hold for the long term as I think, although pricey here, has the inside track to an important resource play and the connections to follow through. I watch the shares on the singapore exchange (go to the exchange, go to “prices” top left corner, and you get an alphabet..go to H and scroll to hyflux, when you click on the compnay you can access all kinds of data including charts, news etc.- all very easy and very up to date) BTW, if you want a reasonable full service international broker you can go with International Assets. They do pretty well at execution on foreign exchanges, but I haven’t found anyone there with good advice.

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