(By Balachander) New Oriental Education & Tech Grp (NYSE:EDU) shares were upgraded to "Outperform" from "Perform" by Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. after the Chinese company filed its FY12 20-F last Friday.
The brokerage said the company filed its FY12 20-F with consistent historical financials, an unqualified auditor's report, additional VIE agreements & positive SEC comment on its historical financial reporting, indicating favorable outlook of the currently pending SEC investigation.
The SEC investigation now relates to review of its FY12 20-F and the special committee's findings, Oppenheimer said.
The brokerage, which introduced a price target of $25, wrote that its channel checks also suggest its fundamentals remained intact during the past three months.
"EDU was informed by the SEC's Division of Corporation Finance, which started reviewing the company's FY11 20-F in April 2012, that it has no objection to its consolidation of VIEs. This removes the largest overhang on the stock, we think," Oppenheimer said.
Oppenheimer understands the SEC now continues reviewing EDU's FY12 20-F & the special committee's findings. "We noticed improvements in the FY12 20-F, incl.
incremental disclosure (risks, regulation) & new equity pledge, powers of attorney, & service agreements. We view the remainder of the investigation favorably," the brokerage said.
In addition, the brokerage expects little impact from the recent ban on Math Olympiad in Beijing on EDU's business.
New Oriental provides private educational services, consisting primarily of English and other foreign language training, test preparation
courses, and online education.
U.S.-listed shares jumped 4.49 percent to trade at $17.91 on Monday. In the past 52 weeks, the stock has been trading between $9.41 and $30.97.