In a surprise victory, beating out both Carol Wang and Henry Ai, with almost 50% of the vote, the winner of the most recent Weekend Poll, “Who is the next Ping Luo?” is Maxim Group’s Echo He.
Echo released a report on Harbin Electric (HRBN), a prototypical Chinese reverse-merger company, entitled “It’s not about trust, but common sense; Reiterate Buy.” News flash for Echo, it is only about trust. And simply put, there is not a single sell-side analyst that should be trusted blindly, not ones who work at Morgan Stanley or Goldman Sachs and certainly not ones that work at third-tier SPAC shops like Maxim.
Harbin is not Echo‘s only bizarre call.
While still at Oppenheimer, Echo was a fan of Fuqi International (FUQI). From September 2009:
Sep. 23 (Bloomberg) — Fuqi International Inc was rated new “Outperform” at Oppenheimer & Co by equity analyst Echo He. The 18-month target price is $38.00 per share.
Investors who trusted her and Fuqi management must not have much common sense. The company has still not filed its 10K for 2009, nor any financials for 2010 or 2011. Shares have gone from a high of over $32 in September 2009 to being demoted to the Pink Sheets and currently trading at less than $3. [NB - How they are not at pennies is still a mystery to your author]
Until the 17th of May of this year, Echo recommended that investors buy Wonder Auto (WATG). On that day she cut her rating to hold. Sadly, the shares were halted on May 7th, and have remained halted since. Good job Echo!
Echo still has buy ratings on other Chinese reverse-merger wonders such as China Automotive (CAAS), which is still late with its 2010 10K and 1Q2011 10Q, Zhongpin Intl (HOGS), tiny Deyu Agriculture (DEYU), and steel company China Gerui (CHOP).
There were also two popular write in candidates. One was Paul Quinn of RBC Capital Markets in Vancouver. Paul is the hapless analyst who reiterated his Outperform rating on Muddy Waters exposed Sino-Forest (TRE in Toronto, SNOFF for Americans) on both the 3rd of June and the 6th of June, with a $27.00 price target. Shares of TRE are currently $6.16 having fallen from a high of $25.83 in March 2011. For readers not familiar with the Sino-Forest saga, read the outstanding research report by MW here.
The other popular write in candidate was Mark Jensen of T Squared Capital, LLC. Mark is not a sell-side analyst, so he is not eligible to win this particular poll. However, Mark’s odd and vaguely disturbing comments to Aaron Stackhouse on Aaron’s Totally Invested blog, see here, and his defense of G. Michael Bennett company L&L Energy (LLEN), see here, would surely make him a front runner in a “Who is the next Jesse Glickenhaus?” poll.