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Jim Cramer rarely gives his seal of approval to a China-based company. But if you have an appetite for risk, he thinks establishing a position in Vipshop may generate significant reward.
Largely, Cramer believes as the Alibaba IPO grows closer and closer, money managers who actively seek growth will turn their attentions to other China-based Internet retailers.
And Cramer says few are facing the growth prospects of Vipshop, a company that sells branded merchandise on its websites at deep discounts, as much as 80 percent off.
First Cramer says Vipshop dominates its category, which is growing at an explosive pace. "From 2012 through 2015 it's expected to expand at a 56.2% compound annual growth rate," Cramer said. That's significant opportunity.
Also, Cramer believes the Vipshop 'story' is still in early chapters with many more people likely to discover the site.
"The company had 7.4 million active customers last quarter, up 160% year over year, but that's still a tiny fraction of the 570 million people in China with internet access," Cramer said.
And as Vipshop wins more customers, Cramer says it should gain more leverage, allowing already impressive profit margins to grow even bigger.
"Think about it. The more customers Vipshop has, the greater their bargaining power will become with their name-brand suppliers, meaning they can get more exclusive deals at even better prices."
Cramer says illustrate just how powerful this story may already be.
"Vipshop just reported on Wednesday after the close, and the company earned 63-cents a share, for a gigantic 17-cent beat, their eighth better than expected quarter in a row," Cramer said.
And digging down into the various metrics, Cramer says they're all spectacular.
"Their revenues rose by 126% year over year to $702 million, about 9% higher than what the analysts were expecting. Hey, this growth is even faster than Alibaba's! And it's not just the revenues that are expanding; Vipshop's net income increased by 359% year over year. Yeah, you read that right, 359% year over year."
"Meanwhile, the company's operating margin climbed to 6.1%, up a full percentage point from the previous quarter. On top of everything else, Vipshop is moving aggressively into mobile: their mobile sales increased by 71% just from the previous quarter, and mobile now makes up 36% of the company's total revenues, up from merely 8% a year ago."
And, at 36 times next year's earnings estimates versus its 58 percent long-term growth rate, Cramer thinks the stock isn't terribly expensive.
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All told, Cramer thinks these kinds of metrics will leave growth managers foaming at the mouth. However, as noted at the top, Cramer is only recommending Vipshop as a spec play, nothing more. "This is a Chinese Internet company, which means it's incredibly risky. That's why I'm only endorsing it for speculation, and I would wait for a pullback before you buy, given the enormous run it's had."
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