“China’s $50 Billion Shocker” part 1 … Navellier

It seems as though interest in China is again growing, after a Fall and Winter when even rabid China bulls like Robert Hsu were somewhat cautiously looking for “greater China” opportunities and China resource plays in places like Brazil and Australia.

Now, it seems, China is cheap enough to be back on the radar — we don’t need to be afraid anymore (yay!)

And the latest fan is our old friend, Louis Navellier.

I mean that in the sense of “old friend who I’ve barely met,” by the way. I have spoken with him briefly and could pick him out of a crowd, but I suspect he’s never heard of the Gumshoe. Which is A-OK.

Here’s how he teases us, to begin:

“There’s an untold story that’s about to catch most investors napping and I want you to be ready.”

“A $50 billion windfall is about to flood into U.S. stocks this year—all thanks to a little-known deal U.S. Treasury Secretary Paulson set up with Beijing last year.

“The hottest money will flood into market leaders, like the stocks on our Blue Chip Growth Buy List.

“In this special report I’ll explain why, plus tell you about 10 stocks Chinese investors are chomping at the bit to own.”

Oh dang, I was wrong — he’s afraid of China, too. This is about investing in US blue chips, he thinks money is going to come flying out of China and into the clutches of his favorite stocks that trade hre

Well, that’s OK too — as long as we can get ourselves some tasty stock ideas to cogitate upon. So what are our clues for these stocks?

First of all, why is it that the Chinese investors are suddenly going to have the ability to invest in US stocks?

Navellier sez it’s because of a “special deal hammered out by U.S. Treasury Paulson will soon give Chinese investors the option of moving their money offshore into U.S. stock funds.”

“And the windfall that will soon flood Wall Street will not only put powerful upward pressure under the prices of our top-rated stocks…but could also make our nearly 6-to-1 market-beating performance in 2007 look like chump change.”

We’ve heard this tune before — about Hong Kong stocks, when the Chinese government started testing a freer hand on a select few investors, letting them invest on the Hong Kong exchange instead of just in the mainland markets. And recently, Paulson has been the “salesman in chief”, encouraging all the oil money in the Persian Gulf to invest in the U.S., too, and reiterating our openness to foreign cash from private firms or sovereign wealth funds (though not in any sensitive areas, like ports or defense contractors, that will get Congressional undies bunched up).

Which should come as no surprise — a debtor who has trouble making the vigorish does not often turn up his nose at selling off a piece of himself or his remaining assets — there’s a reason why pawn shops make a nice profit. But that’s beside the point.

The point is, Navellier thinks that his top-ranked companies will benefit from inflows of foreign investment. What are they?

Some generalities:

“As you’ll see, each of my picks not only occupies a strategic position in the global economy, but has virtually no risk in the subprime market—making them even more attractive to China investors.”

And the specifics — there are three companies:

First is a construction company that “designs and builds facilities for the oil and gas, chemical, and other fast-growing energy markets. These markets that continue to grow with the world’s increasing demand for energy.”

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They also profit from leasing power plants, so they get a cut of the profits as well as the income from building plants.

“Over the past four quarters the company has posted 78.4% sales growth and 254.7% earnings growth. So it’s no surprise the stock is up 200% over the past 12 months—yet the company still trades at only 18 times earnings!”

Naveller says to “buy this one with both hands” … so what is it?

Thinkolator says: Foster Wheeler (FWLT)

Navellier has actually been touting this one at least since last August, and the price is not too far from where it was then (it did dip a bit inbetween). It was around $60 or so, split adjusted, in August and is now at about $75. Those growth numbers are accurate, but not current — they’re from last summer. It is still trading for an estimated 18X forward earnings.

As befits a Navellier pick, they beat the earnings estimate last quarter (though lately they’ve missed estimates and spiked down a bit every other quarter, so who knows) … and analysts have been inching up the numbers for this year and next, which is usually an encouraging sign.

FWLT is no longer the spectacular turnaround play that it was a year or two ago, but it’s still in the sweet spot for most of it’s businesses as the global infrastructure, power, and energy booms continue. It ain’t cheap, but Navellier never likes ’em when they are.

Will look at the next two Hot Money Stocks shortly — I’m alternating with this and the Asian Growth Stocks teaser picks, just to keep you on your toes. Anyone with an opinion about Foster Wheeler, or a better engineering and construction play, let ‘er rip!