10 ways anyone can tell that New Oriental is in trouble
1. Visit the class registration/payment center of New Oriental Headquarters in Beijing, second floor lobby. You will see few customers, and if you have a baseline visit from a year or even six months ago, you will notice the stark contrast in customer (in)activity
2. Visit a training session. Notice all the empty seats.
3. Talk to anyone that has worked at New Oriental for a couple years. They will tell you that business is down and management "doesn't know what to do" to get students enrolled into programs
4. Try to get a job at the company. There is a hiring freeze for almost every position.
5. Try to conduct invetigative journalism at New Oriental. They don't allow staff to talk to journalists, particularly foreign journalists, because they are afraid of what will be reported
6. Talk to customers of New Oriental. They typically say classes are too expensive and offer little value; many comment that test training courses are "about test strategy and not learning new material"; many have told me that they feel taken advantage of: "New Oriental will tell you anything to get your parents' money"
7. Pick up any education magazine in China, or attend any education fair in China, and notice how many direct competitors New Oriental faces in today's market--the days of 90% market share are long gone
8. Read New Oriental's recent SEC filings. Also note that the company beat earnings last quarter but did not raise guidance (i.e., they know future demand is weak)
9. Look up the insiders/block holders that have recently filed to unload shares (over U.S. $50 million were filed to be sold in May 2013)
10. Read about the Chinese economy--it's declining. New Oriental is heavily invested in educational services designed to get students overseas--U.S. universities are for the first time in years reporting declines in applications from Chinese international students