I'm curious as to what PR suggestions other board members have for Xinyuan in the current skeptical climate. (What would you do if you were in charge of their PR department?) At this particular point, I think it would be prudent to more directly, verbally address the legitimacy issue. Normally, were a company to issue a press release or otherwise directly make a statement to assure stockholders that it's not a fraud, it would of course be quite strange and awkward. However, with the current SEC investigations ongoing and investors' awareness of fraudulent Chinese companies and complicit auditors ramped up even higher than it usually is, Xinyuan really ought to consider utilizing some method of stating that it's not a fraud. Right now investors are thinking about fraud, and many eyes are on Chinese companies and their auditors, so paradoxically perhaps it's a really good opportunity to get the US-investor recognition as a legitimate, honest company that the buyback, dividend, US land purchases, addition of reputable board members, and so on have all failed to get. In the midst of all the heightened scrutiny of auditors of Chinese companies, would a fraudulent Chinese company come out with a strong statement to the effect that it welcomes the increased scrutiny as a chance to put to rest suspicions of fraud and as a chance to enable itself to stand out as an honest, legitimate company? So, I think Xinyuan ought to consider what a suitable, natural-sounding means for delivering this sort of message might be (e.g., alongside the announcement of a dividend increase).
Seems they are doing everything they should be doing and the stock price has moved up. I don't think extraordinary means are needed, or desireable, at this point. They are doing buybacks at very low cost, and that helps current shareholders and XIN gives no indication of having (wanting) to go to the public for cash, so why not leave as is. LT investors such as ourselves can just accumulate at they attractive prices.
I doubt a PR release is going to convince people the company is not a fraud. Actually many times these statements get me thinking the opposite. Actions such as buybacks, dividends, purchase of properties with cash are what they should do and what they are doing.
If you are confident the company is not a fraud then be a patient long-term investor and enjoy the fruits of being able to buy a good company cheaply, rather than focus on investor sentiment that the company can't control.
I would tend to agree with mscrouse2001. If you've done nothing wrong, then you don't have anything to worry about in the long run. We have all noticed that even though something good may be said, the general public can still act negatively toward it. See the post I made yesterday or the day before on Statement from Tom Gurnee. I got this directly in an email back from investor relations at Xinyuan.
My PR suggestion would be to keep as quiet as legally possible until XIN has bought back all the shares they intend to buy back. They seem to be doing this.
I believe XIN knows what to do in the PR department should they wish to promote the stock...they don't need any help from the peanut gallery.
I suspect the CEO is more interested in expanding and growing his business than promoting his stock. I can't see any reason why he would want a higher stock price at this time, unless he could get the share price well over book value....and PR alone will not do that. IMHO
The low share price allows the company to buy back on the cheap and the insiders to accumulate options and shares. Once the institutional holders have filled their bags - which is what is happening right now on relatively large volume - there will be analyst coverage and that will ultimately drive the price higher.
Commenting on fraud allegations when there are none (let's remember, XIN has never been explicitly mentioned as a fraud by Muddy Waters or another "short bashing" organization) would possibly cause the stock to tank. The company is better of focusing on business, as you suggested. They are doing well.
I tend to agree. XIN is quite happy to allow the price to remain abnormally low until they've bought back all the shares they'd like to buy, so I don't really expect any PR aimed at alleviating investors' fraud concerns. Given that so many other characteristics of XIN point away from fraud, however, I do think that PR is the missing ingredient. I don't think it would take a whole lot of PR and promotion to ease enough investors' minds to move the stock to over $10 over a six-month period and maintain it there; however, like you said, there will be no PR aimed at accomplishing this until it's in the company's interest.