The onslaught against Chinese fraud stocks is getting stronger as we expected, and the cottage industry of those looking for Chinese public scams is starting to make some serious cash. Today's casualty is China Education Alliance which according to Kerrisdale Securities "is fabricating its SEC financial statements. We believe that the company’s revenue and profit are highly overstated in its SEC filings and that the company is mostly a hoax." Stock down about 18% at last check. Of course, from $3.61 to zero it still has a long way to fall. All in all, this is just another slap in the face for the NYSE which continues to admit the biggest (alleged) scam companies to trade on it, destroying all credibility of prescreeing, merely to pursue a listing dollar here and there.
From the evidence section of the report:
- The company’s websites do not work, despite the fact that CEU is an online education provider and its websites are the company’s main revenue-generating assets. We have recorded three videos here, here and here which show that the main www.edu-chn.com and www.pk1234567.com websites have non-functioning payment methods and are full of broken links and HTML errors.
- The company’s websites receive a fraction of the visitor traffic generated by comparable sites such as those operated by China Distance Education Holdings (DL), which reports lower revenue and lower margins than CEU despite having functioning websites, a larger number of web assets, operational payment schemes and no broken links on their sites.
- We hired an investigator to visit the company’s training center in Harbin and found it to be barren of desks and teaching equipment. We provide a video where we present a slideshow of the empty building. We also explain why we are confident we visited the correct location.
- The company’s local filings to the Chinese government show that the online business generated less than $1 million in revenue in 2008. We provide SAIC filings from 2006, 2007 and 2008, including both original Chinese photocopies as well as English translations.
- The company’s financials are not believable when compared to publicly traded comparable companies. The company reports higher margins and revenue growth when compared to DL, CEDU and CAST, despite having a non-functioning website and an empty training center.
- CEU has had 4 low quality, non-reputable auditors since going public in 2004. The company also raised capital in 2009 at an irrationally low valuation without providing a sensible rationale for why the capital was needed.
We also get our latest (alleged) scam accountants: the company current auditor is Sherb & Co. For our readers' benefit here is a list of Sherb's 158 audit clients.
We recommend readers focus their non-momo attention (and actual due diligence) on Tianli Agritech, (OINK), Wowjoint Holdings (BWOW), China Shen Zhou (SHZ) and China Wind Systems (CWS).
Full Kerrisdale report - link.