“Last time you can buy this stock under $10 … ever”

By Travis Johnson, Stock Gumshoe, December 7, 2010

Nothing pushes investors to sign up for a newsletter subscription like urgency … that’s why the copywriters are trained to tap into the reptilian greed centers in our brains and tell us that this unbelievable, hot, stupendous stock market opportunity is only available for a few precious moments so you really simply must sign up for a subscription right now.

The ad I’ve been looking at this morning is not just urgent, it also uses a few extra tricks to convince us that time is of the essence — the ad is from Michael Lombardi for one of his newsletters (Mitchell Clark’s Monster Profits, in this case), and not only does he tell us that this may be the last week we can buy the stock, he also makes the ad seem even more timely by time-stamping for this very morning. Hurry!

Here’s how the spiel begins:

“From: Michael Lombardi, 8:47 a.m., Tuesday, December 7, 2010

“Dear Reader,

“Believe me; I know how this sounds…

“Another great stock – and under $10 too!”

“Too good to be true right? Not quite.

“Investopedia says about this company, ‘Sales are growing at a healthy clip…’

“And according to analysts, sales are expected to continue to grow at a rate of 21% per year over the next 5 years.

“That’s almost unheard of in a stock under $10…especially one with almost no debt.

“I guess that’s why one industry leading investment research firm says, ‘It has the best of both worlds, growth and value.’”

Oh My! He wrote it just this morning? Is there still time to invest?! Hurry!

Ahem. Or perhaps we’ll be a bit more sober about all this — as we like to do here at Gumshoe Headquarters, where sobriety is strictly a 9-to-5 policy (or sometimes 9-to-noon), let’s just take a moment to check out the facts, think about the company for a spell … then, if you feel like subscribing to Clark’s newsletter ($595, incidentally), or buying the stock, well, then that’s your choice. And maybe it’ll even be one that you had a chance to consider rationally.

So … with that in mind, let’s unearth this teaser stock idea for you. How about some more clues?

“…anytime you can own one of the top producers in an industry for under $10 per share, it’s something you need to consider very seriously…

“But when that industry is one of the fastest growing industries in one of the fastest growing countries on the planet, well, that makes the opportunity even more special….

“According to a recent article in NewsChina – an American publication focusing exclusively on business in China — there were 76.19 million cars on the road in China in 2009.

“But here’s the kicker: according to a senior official with China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, China will have over 200 million cars on the road by 2020… just nine years from today….

“The same growth that took us in America 50 years will happen in China in just nine years.

“And when you consider there are just 40 cars for every 1,000 people in China and nearly 800 cars for every 1,000 people in the U.S., I think you can see there is tremendous room for growth.”

So that’s a pretty clear backgrounder for you: China is the world’s fastest growing car market, and by some measures it’s already the largest market for autos in the world. What, then, is the play for investors if you listen to Mitchell Clark? It turns out, they’re pitching an auto parts supplier … here’s some more details (or as I like to call ’em, “clues”):

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“Why own one car company when you can own part of the company that supplies parts to 6 of the top 10 car makers in China?

“This little known parts supplier is already diversified across China’s entire auto industries.

“For instance, they make parts like starters, alternators, engine valves, rods, shafts, electric motors – pretty much all the major parts that make a car run.

“But that’s not all; they recently acquired another parts supplier so that they now offer seat-belts and airbags as well.

“And who are their clients?

“Some of the biggest names in the business like…SAIC-GM-Wuling (GM’s China Division), Shanghai Volkswagen, Beijing Hyundai, Chery Automobile, BYD Auto Group and FAW-Toyota

“And this in not some fly-by-night operation. The CEO and COO have a combined 55 years in the auto and auto parts industry.

“They employ 163 R&D professionals and hold 90 technology patents and counting.”

OK … so, it looks like that’s pretty much all we’re going to get by way of clues to point us toward this stock. But don’t worry, we’ve got plenty to feed into the Gumshoe’s mighty Thinkolator … clients, sector, products, under $10, some dribs and drabs of detail, process on “churn” for a few seconds and … voila! This stock is:

Wonder Auto Technology (WATG)

Interestingly enough, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen a teaser for Wonder Auto — about a year and a half ago Louis Navellier made a big push for these shares after they had tripled from about $3 to $9 in a matter of a couple months, just the kind of thing that momentum-driven Navellier loves to see (and extrapolate into the future). That growth play worked well for a little while, getting up to $14 or so at the peak, but I suspect that he likes it far less now — the stock has tripped and jumped back down to about $9 again now (it’s bounced between roughly $7 and $10 since the Summer), and after a few earnings misses and some weak performance the shares now get a “D” grade from Navellier.

So, where momentum and Navellier’s quantitative system drop the shares, are they worth picking up? Clearly Mitchell Clark seems to think so, if you believe the analyst projections (there are nine of them, a big bunch for a small stock), then WATG is trading very cheap, with a forward PE ratio of just 7. It’s not just projections, though, Wonder Auto has been profitable for a while even though they missed earnings estimates in two quarters this year, so for the last 12 months they’ve booked 81 cents in earnings per share for a trailing PE of just under 10. There could easily be a reason why it’s cheap, but it does seem cheap considering that analysts believe their record of roughly 20% annual growth will continue well into the future.