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What Chinese Real Estate Crisis?

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Looking for that Chinese real estate crisis, are you? All those empty blocks of apartment houses, those leveraged loans, the crash in prices?

Well, you need to be updated with the following facts from Soufun Holdings (SFUN - Free Report) in China and think twice.

SouFun operates the leading real estate Internet portal in China, when measured in terms of the number of page views in 2012 and in visitors to its websites.  

This $3.2 billion in market cap Mid Cap Growth stock moved to a Zacks Rank #1 with a longer-term Outperform rating on August 9, 2013. It is found in the Business Services industry, which is ranked #85 out of 260 industries.  

SFUN pays a nice 4.8% dividend yield, and has a current forward 12-month P/E ratio of 16. Analysts forecast SFUN earnings for 2014 to grow +18% annually; to $3.11 a share from $2.63 a share in 2013. They forecast SFUN’s annual sales growth for 2014 to be +16%; after posting a likely +20% increase in 2013.

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Through SouFun's Chinese language website above -- it can provide marketing, e-commerce, listing and other value-added services for China's fast-growing real estate and home-related industries. It is headquartered in Beijing, China.  

SouFun's Internet portal is highly focused on the Chinese user experience. However, SouFun currently maintains about 100 brick-and-mortar offices to focus on local market needs, too.  Its website and database cover more than 320 cities in China.

China Real Estate Market Strength Bodes Well for Soufun Holdings

Soufun stock recently jumped dramatically after China's National Bureau of Statistics released July 2013 housing price figures. Prices climbed in 69 of the 70 cities the government tracked from a year earlier, matching the data in June and May.

The southern business center of Guangzhou posted the biggest gain, rising 17% from a year earlier. Prices in Beijing and Shanghai increased 14% each. All three cities had their biggest gains since the government changed its methodology for housing price data in January 2011.

According to Chinese real estate analyst Jack Gong, a Hong Kong-based property analyst at Orient Finance Holdings (HK) Ltd., it is "unlikely the government will release a new round of property curbs, even if home prices continue to rise rapidly. The new leadership seems to have a different mentality on property policies. The new government may be less interested in tightening measures but allow the market to play a bigger role.”

In July, the Chinese government said on its website, after a meeting led by President Xi Jinping, that it will seek “stable and healthy” development of the property market.

In turn, the official Xinhua News Agency reported on Aug. 15, citing Zhu Zhongyi, deputy head of the China Real Estate Industry Association, that the government may release a “long-term mechanism” for stable and healthy development in about three months time (aka at the end of the year).

Recent Financials Speak for Themselves

Check out Soufun’s Q2 and 1H 2013 highlights:

Revenue in Q2 of 2013 was $144.1 million, a 48.6% increase from Q2 in 2012. In the first half of 2013, revenue was $235.2 million, a 51.3% increase from the corresponding period in 2012.

In Q2, operating income in Q2 of 2013 was $75.8 million, a 59.6% increase from Q2 in 2012.  For 1H, operating income was $113.0 million, an 83.1% increase from 1H in 2012.

In Q2, net income attributable to SouFun's shareholders was $55.4 million, or $0.67 per fully diluted share, representing a year-over-year increase of 67.5%. In 1H, net income attributable to SouFun's shareholders was $83.8 million, or $1.01 per fully diluted share, representing a year-over-year increase of 74.1%.

Vincent Mo, Executive Chairman of SouFun, had this to say in August:

"We are proud of delivering another solid quarter and our 12th straight growth quarter above our guidance since SouFun's IPO. We will continue to focus on products and services and invest in new technologies that will enhance SouFun's websites and mobile applications for SouFun's future growth and create long-term value for our shareholders."

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