Why Shares of 51job Inc. Popped Today

What happened

Shares of Chinese human-resources service provider 51job, Inc. (NASDAQ: JOBS) rose on Thursday on no apparent news. The rally undoes some of the decline suffered by the stock on Sept. 10. 51job stock was up 9.8% when the market closed.

So what

There was nothing specific driving shares of 51job higher on Thursday. The decline on Monday was also not driven by any news.

The stock has been tumbling since it peaked in June, a downtrend that was exacerbated by a mixed second-quarter report in early August. Even after Thursday's gains, the stock is still down about 38% from its peak. Thursday's rally may be nothing more than a beaten-down stock bouncing off fresh lows.

Now what

51job is growing quickly, posting 33% year-over-year revenue growth in the second quarter. The company is also profitable, and analysts expect adjusted earnings of $2.75 per share this year. That puts the price-to-earnings ratio at about 25 following Thursday's jump, far from nosebleed territory.

Still, the stock has soared over the past couple of years, up 136% since the start of 2016 even after the steep sell-off in the past few months. To reignite that rally, the company will need to at least match expectations when it reports its next batch of quarterly results in November.

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Timothy Green has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends 51job. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.