On January 17th, Meituan‘s Hong Kong stock price fell by 6.97%, closing at HKD 68.75, reaching a new low in the past four years. This price dropped below the IPO price of HKD 69 when Meituan went public in 2018.
The current market value of this company, which focuses on local lifestyle business, is HKD 429.3 billion, a decrease of over 80% from its peak value of HKD 2.6 trillion. Since entering 2024, Meituan‘s stock price has accumulated a decline of 16.06%.
The continuous decline in its stock price is related to the overall sluggishness of the Hong Kong stock market.
On that day, the Hang Seng Index (HSI) fell more than 4%, and the Hang Seng Tech Index dropped by 5.58%. Apart from Meituan, many large-cap technology stocks listed in Hong Kong were in a downward trend. Among them, Kuaishou dropped by 6.2%, Trip.com fell by 1.85%, China Literature Limited declined by over 7.2%, Tencent decreased by 2.76%, Alibaba Group Holding Limited dropped by 3.31%, Xiaomi fell by 4.92%, JD.com declined by 4.53%, and NetEase dropped by 1.66%.
In fact, since January 10th, Meituan has been buying back stocks for five consecutive trading days to boost the stock price. It has repurchased a total of 26.905 million shares, with an expenditure of approximately HKD 2 billion. This is also the first time that the company has repurchased its own stocks.
And two days before implementing the buyback plan, Zhang Chuan, President of Meituan‘s in-store business group, discussed the competitive environment and competition strategy that Meituan is currently facing in a “New Year’s Message.” The content of the letter is relatively rare within Meituan and has mostly been focused on encouragement in the past.
According to the latest financial report of Meituan, it can be seen that its revenue and net profit were both in a growing trend in the third quarter of last year. Among them, the revenue increased by over 20% compared to the previous year, and the net profit surged by as much as 195.37% compared to the same period in 2022.
In Meituan‘s various businesses, the core food delivery business has achieved positive profit growth, but the average order value has decreased. The growth rate of operating profit has declined to 8.31%, significantly lower than the 34.83% in the second quarter.
Regarding the stock price and valuation, Meituan CEO Wang Xing once stated during the financial conference call that the stock price in the secondary market only reflects the valuation of Meituan‘s food delivery business and does not align with the company’s intrinsic value. Therefore, Meituan has initiated a series of internal acquisitions as mentioned above.
Whether Meituan‘s stock price is undervalued still requires more data to support, but investors clearly hope to hear more growth potential stories from this company.