Since its launch in 1986, Honda’s (NYSE: HMC ) Acura brand has kind of occupied an in-between space — more upscale than a mass-market brand, but not quite a true luxury brand, either. Lately, Honda has been hinting that it wants to change that, and it has an all-new ad agency ready to push Acura up the luxury scale.
Does this plan have a chance? In this video, Fool contributor John Rosevear looks at what it really takes to establish a true luxury-car brand and explains why observers — and Honda investors — should be skeptical of this latest effort.
China is already the world’s largest auto market — and it’s set to grow even bigger in the coming years. A recent Motley Fool report, “2 Automakers to Buy for a Surging Chinese Market,” names two global giants poised to reap big gains that could drive big rewards for investors. You can read this report right now for free — just click here for instant access.
Hot China Companies For 2014: TAL Education Group(XRS)
TAL Education Group, together with its subsidiaries, provides K-12 after-school tutoring services in the People?s Republic of China. It offers tutoring services to K-12 students covering various academic subjects, including mathematics, English, Chinese, physics, chemistry, and biology. The company provides tutoring services through small classes; personalized premium services, such as one-on-one tutoring; and online course offerings. As of May 31, 2011, it operated a network of 199 physical learning centers in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Tianjin, Wuhan, Nanjing, Hangzhou, Chengdu, and Xi?an; and eduu.com, an online education platform for online courses. The company also offers education and management consulting services, as well as sells software. It operates under the Xueersi brand. The company was founded in 2003 and is headquartered in Beijing, China.
Hot China Companies For 2014: New Oriental Education & Technology Group Inc.(EDU)
New Oriental Education & Technology Group Inc. provides private educational services primarily in the People?s Republic of China. It offers a range of educational programs, services, and products consisting primarily of English and other foreign language training; test preparation courses for admissions and assessment tests; primary and secondary school education; development and distribution of educational content; software and other technology; and online education. The company?s language training courses primarily consist of various types of English language training courses, and other foreign languages, including German, Japanese, French, Korean, and Spanish. It offers test preparation courses for language and entrance exams used by educational institutions in the United States, the People?s Republic of China, and commonwealth countries. The company also operates primary and secondary schools in Yangzhou. In addition, New Oriental Education & Technology Group Inc. deve lops and edits content for educational materials for language training and test preparation, such as books, software, CD-ROMs, magazines, and other periodicals. It distributes these materials through various distribution channels consisting of own classrooms and bookstores, as well as third-party distributors. Further, the company offers various online education programs on its Web site, koolearn.com. Additionally, it provides consulting services to help students through the application and admission process for overseas educational institutions, as well as post-secondary educational programs to help students seek career opportunities; and operates two pre-schools. The company offers educational services under the ?New Oriental? brand name. As of May 31, 2010, it offered education programs, services, and products through a network of 48 schools, 319 learning centers, and 25 bookstores. The company was founded in 1993 and is headquartered in Beijing, the People?s Republic of China.
- [By James K. Glassman]
New Oriental Education & Technology Group (symbol: EDU), which I recommended for 2010, gained a lovely 48% over the following 12 months. For the past year, however, New Oriental — which dominates the market for private educational services in China (55 schools and 726 learning centers) — has taken a dive, as have many Chinese stocks. It’s now close to its early-2010 price, even though revenues have doubled.
- [By Kevin1977]
The demand for English-language education is particularly strong in China right now, and people are willing to pay a lot of money for training that will enable them to communicate and conduct business globally. As China’s largest private education services company, New Oriental Education & Technology (EDU) is the way to play this powerful trend.
Top 5 Warren Buffett Companies To Buy Right Now: Euro/Yen(EJ)
E-House (China) Holdings Limited, through its subsidiaries, operates as a real estate services company in China. It provides primary real estate agency services, secondary real estate brokerage services, real estate information and consulting services, real estate advertising services, real estate promotional event services, real estate online services, and real estate investment fund management services. The company offers primary real estate agency services to real estate developers. Its secondary real estate brokerage services include offering advisory services on choices of properties; accompanying potential buyers on house viewing trips; drafting purchase contracts; negotiating price and other terms; and providing preliminary proof of title, as well as coordinating with the notary, the bank, and the title transfer agency. The company also provides real estate information services comprising data subscription services and data integration services; and real estate cons ulting services, including land acquisition consulting, development consulting, marketing consulting, and comprehensive solution consulting. In addition, it offers real estate advertising services consisting of advertising design and sales in print and other media; and real estate promotional event services, including securing venues, hiring caters and other various service providers, formulating event themes, and inviting speakers and guests for real estate promotional events. Further, the company provides real estate online services, including real estate news, information, property data, and access to online communities to real estate consumers and participants through local Web sites; and involves in real estate investment fund management activities that consist of investments in China?s real estate sector. E-House (China) Holdings Limited was founded in 2000 and is headquartered in Shanghai, the People?s Republic of China.
- [By ChemTrade]
Founded in 2000, E-House (EJ) is a leading real estate service company in China. It has a large scope of services, good brand recognition and a strong geographic presence. The company provides primary real estate agency services, secondary real estate brokerage services as well as real estate consulting and information services.
Hot China Companies For 2014: Top Image Systems Ltd.(TISA)
Top Image Systems Ltd. provides enterprise solutions for managing and validating content entering organizations from various sources. It develops and markets automated data capture solutions for managing and validating content gathered from customers, trading partners, and employees. The company?s solutions deliver digital content to the applications that drive an enterprise by using technologies, such as wireless communications, servers, form processing, and information recognition systems. It offers eFLOW Unified Content Platform that provides the common architectural infrastructure for its solutions. The company also provides Smart, an automated classification solution, which is the eFLOW plug-in for unstructured content providing single point of entry for information entering the organization; and Freedom, the eFLOW plug-in for semi-structured content that enables customers to identify and capture critical data from semi-structured documents, such as invoices, purchase orders, shipping notes, and checks. In addition, it offers Integra, the eFLOW plug-in for structured content, which provides a solution for data capture, validation, and delivery from structured predefined forms; eFLOW Ability, an integrated module interfacing with SAP systems for automated parking, approval, and posting of invoices and other document within SAP systems; and eFLOW Invoice Reader, an invoice capture and approval solution, which could be deployed and integrated in enterprise accounting environment, such as SAP, Oracle, and other financial systems. Top Image Systems Ltd. sells its products through a network of value-added distributors, systems integrators, original equipment manufacturers, and partners in approximately 40 countries worldwide. It has strategic partnership with SQN Banking Systems (SQN) to incorporate SQN’s fraud detection solutions with its eFLOW Banking Platform in the Asia Pacific market. The company was founded in 1991 and is headquartered i n Ramat Gan, Israel.
- [By cnAnalyst]
Top Image Systems Ltd. (NASDAQ:TISA) is the 4th best-performing stock last month in this segment of the market. It was up 84.92% for the past month. Its price percentage change was 102.63% year-to-date.
Hot China Companies For 2014: 51job Inc.(JOBS)
51job, Inc. provides integrated human resource services primarily in the People?s Republic of China. . The company provides recruitment related advertising services, including print advertising services through 51job Weekly, which is a city-specific recruitment advertising publication that is published once a week and is distributed as an insert in local newspapers and/or on a stand-alone basis; and online recruitment services through its Website, www.51job.com. It also offers other human resource related services, such as business process outsourcing, which consist of social insurance and welfare payment processing, regulatory compliance, and payroll processing; and executive search services, as well as conducts training seminars in the areas of business management, leadership, sales and marketing, human resource, negotiation skills, financial planning and analysis, public administration, manufacturing, secretarial, and other skills for the general public and corporate cl ients. In addition, the company provides campus recruitment services; conducts salary, employee retention, and other human resource related surveys; organize and host annual human resource conferences and events, which include lectures, seminars, workshops, and networking opportunities for human resource professionals; and provides assessment tools to assist human resource departments in evaluating capabilities and dispositions of job candidates and existing employees, aiding employee placement, and allocating employee resources, as well as hiring and support services to employers on select recruitment projects. It provides recruitment and other human resource related services to employers through its sales offices, as well as through its sales and customer service call center. The company was founded in 1998 and is based in Shanghai, the People?s Republic of China.
- [By Robert Hsu]
51Job, Inc. (JOBS) reported its financial results for the second quarter of 2011 on August 4. Some highlights:
Total revenues came in at 332.4 million yuan, an increase of 26.7% from 262.4 million yuan year-on-year. Revenues from online recruitment services climbed a whopping 49%, while print advertising revenues declined 27.8%. Gross profit for the second quarter increased 34.1%, while gross margin expanded to 71.8%, compared with 68% year-on-year. Net income for the second quarter increased 53.6% to 83.5 million yuan, representing earnings per share of 2.82 yuan.
Looking forward, the company expects for revenue to come in at a range of 335 million yuan to 345 million yuan. Overall, the company continues to make progress on its strategic initiatives, and has strongly increased spending per employer in its online business, as well as expanding its customer base in existing and new geographic regions.
Shares sold off slightly after the earnings report, since EPS just slightly missed analyst expectations, but investors quickly realized that the long-term growth story was still intact and shares quickly climbed back. Going forward, one day of volatility will not affect fundamentals of this company and I remain bullish on JOBS. Buy it.
Hot China Companies For 2014: iSoftStone Holdings Limited(ISS)
iSoftStone Holdings Limited provides various information technology (IT) services and solutions in the Greater China and internationally. It offers an integrated suite of IT services and solutions, including consulting and solution services, IT services, and business process outsourcing (BPO) services. The company provides a range of consulting services for an overall engagement or discrete consulting services in conjunction with other services. It also develops industry-specific solutions, including treasury management, cash management, property and casualty insurance core, financial holding company business analysis, trust company core, and banking risk management solutions for banking, financial services, and insurance industries; supply chain management, enterprise information portals, business intelligence, business process integration, and management and e-commerce solutions for energy, transportation, and public sectors; mobile and embedded technology, next generati on platforms, business intelligence functionality, and network security products for the communications industry. In addition, the company offers various IT services consisting of application development and maintenance, research and development, and infrastructure and software services. Further, it provides a range of BPO services, such as securities trade processing services for the investment banking industry; digitization and archiving of policyholder information, as well as account processing and customer service for insurance industry; and cross-industry BPO services comprising finance and accounting, customer care, and human resources. The company was founded in 2001 and is headquartered in Beijing, the People?s Republic of China.
- [By Lowell]
iSoftStone Holdings Limited Ame is an IT service provider operating an integrated service delivery platform for IT services and solutions in the Peoples’ Republic of China. Isoftstone Holdings Ltd. has a market cap of $779.58 million; its shares were traded at around $15.38 with and P/S ratio of 3.96.
Soros bought 510,345 shares of iSoftStone Holdings Ltd. in the first quarter of 2011, at an average share price of $19.28. The stock price has declined 12.38% year to date.
The company operates a suite of IT services and solutions, including: IT services, which primarily includes application development and maintenance (ADM), as well as R&D services and infrastructure and software services; consulting and solutions; and business process outsourcing (BPO) services.
iSoftStone’s first quarter 2011 revenues of $20.5 million, increased from $13.8 million in the same quarter 2010. Net income increased to $5.2 million from $788,000 in the same quarter 2010. The company’s operating expenses grew 30% from the first quarter 2010 due to in large part to a continuing investing in management capacity, sales force and marketing efforts to support top-line growth and research and development activities. Net revenues in each of its global markets, which comprise almost 45% of its business, increased as well. iSoftStone is affected by seasonal trends and its first quarter results are typically lower than other quarters.
iSoftStone will be expanding into the public sector for the first time through a multi-million-dollar project they won in the first quarter. “We believe the contract gives us great entry point to grow our presence in the public sector,” the company said in a statement.