One beneficiary of China’s weather crisis

With snow storms sweeping across China and shutting down large swaths of China’s industry, one company could come out ahead. Just a few months ago, Bosideng’s (3998.HK) IPO was seen as a flop as the shares headed straight down from its IPO price of HK$3.28 in October to a low of HK$1.73 recently. The company is a leading player in the down apparel market in China and sells better-quality down jackets under brands such as Snow Flying and Bosideng (a Chinese homonym for the city of Boston). Its market share is over 30%, well ahead of competitors.

Just a few weeks ago, investors seemed to believe that Bosideng was a casualty of global warming. Temperatures in December and early January were a bit higher than is seasonally normal. How things change. Now, China is facing winter weather so bad that power plants have had to shut down as coal shipments are held up and millions are stranded at train stations trying to make it home by Chinese New Year. At the Red Cat Journal, we aren’t the types to speculate in weather, but now seems an appropriate time to review Bosideng. Besides the fact that down jacket demand may get a short-term boost, here are some other things going for Bosideng:

  • At a 12X P/E, the stock trades at a large discount to other consumer plays in China. Of course, with less than one year’s of stock trading history and a highly seasonal sales pattern, it may be a more risky play as it hasn’t had time to season as a stock.
  • Management collectively owns 88% of the shares outstanding. Management is stable and experienced and with so much skin in the game, management interests should be aligned with shareholders.
  • Down apparel penetration is only at 8% of China’s total population. Although China is so big that perhaps 20% of the population lives in regions where down jackets might be overkill, penetration substantially lags the 70% penetration in Japan and 45% in Germany.
  • Bosideng’s brands have won numerous awards and are known for their high level of quality. As a result, Bosideng's brand equity can be considered strong, at least in China. As it increases the proportion of more fashionable products, Bosideng may even be able to further build on that brand equity.