Is it time to sell your Bellamy’s Australia Ltd, a2 Milk Company and Blackmores Limited shares?

Credit: Bellamy's

Investors appear to be finally catching up with the previously announced new rules regarding the importation of certain goods into China. Amongst the rules already announced is a 12% import tax to protect domestic retailers by levelling the playing field with overseas competitors.

Another recently announced rule change which has unnerved investors is the implementation of restrictions surrounding whether a product is considered a “health” food or not. A product designated as a “health” food is reportedly required to need Chinese regulatory approval, a process which is believed to take significant time to receive.

On Tuesday, Bellamy’s Australia Ltd (ASX: BAL), A2 Milk Company Ltd (Australia) (ASX: A2M) and Blackmores Limited (ASX: BKL) had all experienced painful share price falls of around 5% or more.

The longer term picture is even more stark…

Since the beginning of calendar year 2016, Bellamy’s share price has plunged around 33%, Blackmores is down 22%, while a2 Milk is off 5%.

The performance of these three “ASX growth darlings” over the past few months, coupled with the uncertainty over the regulatory changes being imposed by China should give investors a big reason to pause for thought.

Longer term shareholders of any of these three stocks could easily be sitting on capital gains of well over 100%.

Even after allowing for strong earnings growth, these stocks all still appear to be trading well above forecast market average multiples.

While it’s possible that these stocks will still deserve a premium price in a few years’ time, it’s also possible that the market in its enthusiasm has factored in too rosy a future and not given enough weight to both the threats of regulatory reforms in China and increased competition.

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Motley Fool contributor Tim McArthur has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of Bellamy's Australia. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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