A must-read comment on China Finance Online (JRJC)

| About: China Finance (JRJC)

Here is a comment from JerryD in response to China Finance Online's (ticker: JRJC) Q2 2005 earnings results released late yesterday:

It's pretty obvious their latest earnings are remarkably poor, so I
won't address them directly. However, some other factors, listed below,
are concerning.

1) One thing that has bothered me for a while now is the company's
continuing reference to the "weak Chinese stock market" to explain
their declining earnings. On the surface, this argument seems plausible
and, in fact, most everyone seems to have bought this argument.
However, realistically, there may be no connection at all between the
company's earnings and the Chinese stock market. This topic was brought
up briefly by an analyst during a previous conference call. The analyst
pointed out that even while JRJ was showing rapid growth, the market
was declining rapidly. So based on historical data, there is not a
relationship between the company's growth and market performance.
Company's management, however, continues to link their recent declining
revenues to market conditions. They essentially state that market
conditions are the sole cause of their declining revenues.
Historically, this relationship never existed. In my opinion, it's a
convenient explanation, which works to wrap their business in a black
box. Analysts seem to be convinced by this argument and no one is
challenging management for a better explanation or to layout a course
to mitigate this issue. "It's out of our hands", is basically what
management states.

2) In their earnings release the only subscriber numbers they report
are "new subscribers" and "repeat subscribers". These numbers are
misleading, because we do not know the churn-rate nor total number of
subscribers. There is no other subscription based public company, which
I know of, that does not report either total subscriptions or churn.
Remarkably, no analyst has brought up this topic. "New subscribers" and
"repeat subscribers" are meaningless numbers by themselves. How many
subscribers did NOT renew? An extreme example -- they could 90% of
their subscribers and investors may still remain in the dark!

3) Lastly, their stock repurchasing program is probably the most
ill-conceived one that I have seen to date. Based on the company's
performance, the stock is by no stretch of the imagination undervalued.
This company has a market cap of roughly $120 million, but is reporting
a dismal $1.84 million revenue quarterly and that revenue has be
declining steadily. Why are they using company cash to buy shares? It's
an incredibly poor use of cash.

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