Chinese Educator Stocks Take Off on First School Reopenings

On Monday, Beijing welcomed high school seniors back to face-to-face classes since schools closed for the Chinese New Year.

Author: Anna Vodopyanova   

Chinese education stocks soared after Beijing reopened its schools on Monday in a significant step of recovery from the coronavirus outbreak.

High school seniors who have to prepare for their college entrance exams at the end of the school year were the first to return to their classes after months of online learning, Caixin Global reported today. The medium published a set of photographs showing students wearing masks and uniforms at the entrance of Renmin University's high school.

The news sent the stocks of U.S.-listed Chinese educators higher intraday. Shares in the country's top private education provider, New Oriental Education & Technology Group Inc. (NYSE: EDU), jumped 9% to $119.96 per ADS. Last week, the company reported slowed growth for the fiscal quarter through February and for the March-May trimester.

Its rival in the private tutoring and test prep sectors, TAL Education Group (NYSE: TAL), was also trading nearly 9% higher, at $51.54 per American depositary share. Earlier this month, the educator announced it uncovered internal financial fraud and is now facing investigations by U.S. investors' rights litigators.

Another educator recently hit with fraud allegations, which it denied, GSX Techedu Inc. (NYSE: GSX), skyrocketed nearly 13% to $35.73 per share. Since debut in June 2019, GSX shares have tripled in value.

Another private tutoring provider, which focuses on M&A of underperforming schools in China, Puxin Ltd. (NYSE: NEW), saw its stock rise 8% to $4.33 per share. In March, the company forecast 20% revenue growth for the first quarter.

The stock in loss-making Ambow Education Holding Ltd. (NYSE American: AMBO) skyrocketed 11.5% to $2.23 per share.

Four Seasons Education (Cayman) Inc. (NYSE: FEDU), meanwhile, was also in the 9% jump category, trading at $1.27 per share. The Shanghai-based after-school education provider has been trading near the level of $2 for about a year.

Although it didn't seem directly affected by the reopening of schools, the Netease-backed company that offers online education, Youdao Inc. (NYSE: DAO), enjoyed a 5% rise to $20.39 per share. Youdao was among the few businesses the stock in which only benefited from the coronavirus outbreak in February.

China Online Education Group (NYSE: COE), better known as 51Talk, was about the only Chinese ADS in the education sector that didn't ride the rollercoaster today, though it also gained during the homeschooling period. Its stock inched up just 1 cent to $26.21 per share in the afternoon on Monday, still more than twice above its early January level.