Changyou: Risks Are Mitigated And Shares Undervalued At 3.5 Times Free Cash Flow
Bram de Haas • 12 Comments
Bram de Haas • 12 Comments
Changyou Presents Solid Upside After Recent Dip
Tue, Feb. 16, 11:10 AM
- Many beaten-up Chinese tech names are up strongly on a morning the Nasdaq is up 1%. The gains comes after the Shanghai and Shenzhen exchanges respectively rose 3.3% and 4.1% overnight; strong new loan data and PBOC cash-removal efforts helped.
- Alibaba (BABA +6.7%) is one today's standouts, and that naturally means Yahoo (YHOO +5.8%), which (for now) is still pursuing a reverse spinoff of its core business to better monetize its 384M-share Alibaba stake, is also posting big gains. Fellow Chinese e-commerce firms JD.com (JD +7.6%), Vipshop (VIPS +7.9%), LightInTheBox (LITB +6.7%), and Dangdang (DANG +8.3%) are also doing well.
- Other big gainers include Weibo (WB +9.5%), Momo (MOMO +16.8%), Leju (LEJU +9.4%), NetEase (NTES +6.7%), Changyou (CYOU +6.5%), Bitauto (BITA +8.9%), 58.com (WUBA +6.8%), Cheetah Mobile (CMCM +5.8%), NQ Mobile (NQ +5.4%), 500.com (WBAI +5.6%), Baozun (BZUN +6.7%), and Xunlei (XNET +6.8%).
- ETFs: CQQQ, KWEB, QQQC, EMQQ
Mon, Feb. 1, 3:32 PM
- Though Sohu (SOHU -3.8%) beat Q4 estimates, the company is guiding for Q1 revenue of $390M-$420M and EPS of -$0.40 to -$0.65, below a consensus of $450.6M and -$0.32.
- Likewise, gaming subsidiary Changyou's (CYOU -4.1%) Q4 beat is accompanied by guidance for Q1 revenue of $120M-$130M and EPS of $0.56 to $0.65, below a consensus of $157.3M and $0.73.
Sohu/Changyou's Q4: Sohu's brand ad revenue fell 5% Y/Y to $141M. Search revenue (Sogou) +37% to $151M. Online game revenue (Changyou) -31% to $127M. The gaming decline is attributed to "the natural decline in revenues of older games, such as TLBB 3D and TLBB, and a decrease in Web game revenue as a result of the sale of the 7Road business in [Q3]."
Sohu's gross margin fell to 57% from 59% a year ago; Changyou's GM rose to 74% from 68%. Sohu's non-GAAP operating expenses fell 6% Y/Y; Changyou's opex (reported in GAAP) fell 47% due to the absence of charges recorded a year ago.
- Sohu: Q4 results, earnings release
- Changyou: Q4 results, earnings release
Mon, Jan. 4, 12:58 PM
- With concerns about macro issues both inside and outside China's borders running high, the Shanghai and Shenzhen exchanges respectively fell 6.9% and 8.2% overnight before getting halted. Today in the U.S., the Nasdaq is down 2.6% and the S&P 2.1%.
- Naturally, U.S.-traded Chinese tech stocks are having a rough day. Big decliners include e-commerce firms Alibaba (BABA -6.2%), JD.com (JD -7.9%), Vipshop (VIPS -7.8%), and Baozun (BZUN -6.8%). Others include auto site owners Bitauto (BITA -7.2%) and Autohome (ATHM -8.5%), Sohu (SOHU -6.9%) and gaming subsidiary Changyou (CYOU -8.8%), mobile app developer Cheetah Mobile (CMCM -7%), online classifieds leader 58.com (WUBA -5.9%), and CDN owner ChinaCache (CCIH -6.4%).
- SouFun is down sharply after naming a new CFO. Qunar is seeing big losses after naming a new CEO, COO, and CFO.
- In other news, Alipay parent Ant Financial is looking to raise more funds ahead of a long-expected IPO. Bloomberg reports Alipay is seeking at least $1.5B; the Chinese online payments leader was valued at $45B in a June round. Alibaba is entitled to 37.5% of Alipay's pre-IPO profits, and a 37.5% stake at IPO time.
- ETFs: CQQQ, KWEB, QQQC, EMQQ
Oct. 26, 2015, 12:27 PM
- Beaten-down SOHU and Changyou (NASDAQ:CYOU) have surged after delivering Q3 beats and issuing soft Q4 guidance.
- Sohu expects Q4 revenue of $435M-$465M and EPS of -$0.40 to -$0.65 vs. a consensus of $515.3M and -$0.42. Majority-owned Changyou expects Q4 revenue of $145M-$155M and EPS of $0.56-$0.65 vs. a consensus of $182.5M and $0.76.
- Q3 business performance: Sohu's online gaming revenue (Changyou) was down 12% Q/Q and flat Y/Y at $153M. The Sogou search platform saw revenue rise 9% Q/Q and 50% Y/Y to $148M, with both paid clicks and ad prices (cost per click) rising. Brand ad revenue was flat Q/Q and up 2% Y/Y to $152M, with Sohu Video growing 9% Y/Y to $57M. Other revenue more than doubled Y/Y to $70M. Sogou's mobile traffic exceeded PC traffic for the first time.
- Financials: Sohu's gross margin rose to 59% from 55% in Q2 and 58% in Q3 2014. Operating expenses (non-GAAP) fell 3% Y/Y to $267M. Sohu ended Q3 with $1.33B in cash, and $345M in bank loans.
- Sohu CEO Charles Zhang: "I am pleased with our quarterly results amid a sluggish economy and considerable RMB depreciation ... The soft macro economy had a major impact on traditional brand advertisers who shrank their marketing budgets. In addition, the depreciation of RMB against the U.S. dollar had an adverse effect to our reported numbers."
- Sohu: Q3 results, PR
- Changyou: Q3 results, PR
Aug. 11, 2015, 12:27 PM
- In its latest move to boost slowing economic growth, the PBOC has devalued the yuan, while insisting it's a one-time move. The yuan/dollar ratio is currently at 6.33, down from 6.21 yesterday.
- A number of Chinese Internet stocks that record the lion's share of their revenue in yuan are seeing their U.S. shares (denominated in dollars, of course) underperform (CQQQ -3.4%) amid a 1.3% drop for the Nasdaq. Major decliners include Baidu (BIDU -3.8%), Qunar (QUNR -10.2%), Ctrip (CTRP -5.9%), JD.com (JD -5.8%), Sina (SINA -5%), NetEase (NTES -3.9%), Jumei (JMEI -10.7%), Youku (YOKU -6.2%), Bitauto (BITA -6.4%), Leju (LEJU -6%), Changyou (CYOU -7.7%), and Autohome (ATHM -5.3%).
- Among Chinese solar names, Daqo (DQ -14.4%) and JinkoSolar (JKS -3.3%) are seeing big losses.
- JD.com is adding to the Monday losses seen following a Morgan Stanley downgrade and news Alibaba has formed an alliance with major electronics retailer Suning. Both JD and Jumei could be affected by fellow online retailer Vipshop (down 11.1%), which yesterday afternoon provided light Q3 sales guidance to go with a Q2 EPS beat.
- ETFs: KWEB, QQQC, EMQQ
- Yesterday: Chinese Internet stocks rally after Shanghai/Shenzhen post big gains
Jul. 27, 2015, 2:45 PM
- Though it beat Q2 estimates, SOHU is guiding for Q3 revenue of $470M-$500M and EPS of -$0.55 to -$0.80, below a consensus of $530.2M and -$0.39.
- Meanwhile, gaming subsidiary Changyou's (NASDAQ:CYOU) Q2 beat is accompanied by guidance for Q3 revenue of $172M-$175M and EPS of $0.64-$0.73. The latter is mostly above a $0.65 consensus, but the former is below a $204.6M consensus.
- Business performance: Sohu's Sogou search platform remained a strong point in Q2: Revenue rose 27% Q/Q and 62% Y/Y to $147M. Online game revenue (Changyou) fell 7% Q/Q and rose 12% Y/Y to $172M, and brand ad revenue rose 13% Q/Q and Y/Y to $151M, with Sohu Video ad revenue rising 17% Q/Q and 36% Y/Y to $59.
- Financials: Sohu's gross margin was 55%, up from Q1's 51% and down from Q2 2014's 58%. Operating expenses (non-GAAP) rose 8% Q/Q and fell 11% Y/Y to $237M; both the Q/Q increase and Y/Y drop were due to marketing/promotional spend changes. Sohu ended Q2 with $1.2B in cash/short-term investments, and $370M in bank loans.
- A broader selloff in Chinese stocks is likely weighing on both companies' shares.
- Sohu: Q2 results, PR
- Changyou: Q2 results, PR
Jul. 7, 2015, 10:42 AM
- The selloff in Chinese equities refuses to let up: Shanghai fell 1.3% overnight, Shenzhen fell 5.3%, and Hong Kong fell 2.7%. The declines come amid a backdrop of frantic government efforts to halt the plunge, and requests by hundreds of Chinese companies for trading halts.
- The lion's share of U.S.-traded Chinese Web and mobile firms are down at least 5%, and many are down more than twice that. In alphabetical order by ticker, major decliners include Autohome (ATHM -10.6%), Bitauto (BITA -18.7%), Baozun (BZUN -22.7%), ChinaCache (CCIH -14.6%), Cheetah Mobile (CMCM -15.2%), China Mobile Games (CMGE -13.2%), Ctrip (CTRP -10.1%), Changyou (CYOU -12.6%), Dangdang (DANG -13.8%), iDreamSky (DSKY -15.4%), E-House (EJ -15.9%), Jumei (JMEI -20.2%), Leju (LEJU -12.1%), eLong (LONG -12.6%), Momo (MOMO -9.4%), NQ Mobile (NQ -16.7%), NetEase (NTES -12.2%), Qihoo (QIHU -10.3%), Qunar (QUNR -14.2%), Renren (RENN -17.8%), SouFun (SFUN -16.3%), Sohu (SOHU -10.9%), Taomee (TAOM -15.1%), Vipshop (VIPS -9.7%), Weibo (WB -10.9%), 500.com (WBAI -26.2%), Wowo (WOWO -26.7%), 58.com (WUBA -17.3%), Xunlei (XNET -14%), Youku (YOKU -12.2%), and YY (YY -9.4%).
- The plunge seen over the last two months (aided by panic selling and margin calls?) has led multiples for U.S.-traded Chinese tech names to compress dramatically, with forward P/E and P/S ratios often below those of U.S. peers sporting similar growth profiles. The Guggenheim China Tech ETF (CQQQ -9.3%) is down 29% from a May peak of $45.64.
- ETFs: KWEB, QQQC, EMQQ
- Yesterday: Chinese tech stocks tumble again in spite of fresh government support
- Earlier today: Chinese phone firms decline as country's markets sink
- Update: The group pared its losses a bit in afternoon trading. CQQQ closed down 5.8%.
Jul. 6, 2015, 11:01 AM
- The Shanghai exchange rose 2.4% overnight following a Greek rejection of austerity measures and the unveiling by Chinese brokerages of a government-endorsed plan to buy at least RMB120B ($19.3B) worth of shares to prop up nosediving equity prices. However, Shenzhen fell 2.7% and Hong Kong fell 3.7%, with small-cap names especially hard-hit.
- U.S.-traded Chinese Web/mobile names are seeing heavy losses (CQQQ -7.8%), with small/mid-cap firms unsurprisingly bearing the brunt of the damage. Major decliners include Sina (SINA -8.8%), Weibo (WB -11.6%), YY (YY -7.3%), Sohu (SOHU -9.1%), Changyou (CYOU -11.8%), Youku (YOKU -12.3%), Jumei (JMEI -8.2%), Xunlei (XNET -8.7%), SouFun (SFUN -9.3%), Leju (LEJU -7.6%), E-House (EJ -6.9%), Sky-mobi (MOBI -9.4%), NQ Mobile (NQ -6.3%), 500.com (WBAI -11.6%), Momo (MOMO -6%), and Dangdang (DANG -6.7%).
- The NYT observes $2.7T in value has evaporated from Chinese equities since local markets peaked on June 12. The paper also notes individual investors own over 80% of Chinese stocks, and that Chinese investors respectively own 112M and 142M accounts on the Shanghai and Shenzhen exchanges, with each exchange seeing ~20M account openings this spring.
- ETFs: KWEB, QQQC, EMQQ
Jun. 15, 2015, 4:32 PM
- A temporary correction or a sign of things to come? The high-flying Shanghai and Shenzhen exchanges respectively fell 2% and 2.2% overnight, and many Chinese Internet stocks went in the same direction in U.S. trading (CQQQ -3.3%).
- Today's 5%+ decliners included Dangdang (DANG -10.6%), SouFun (SFUN -6.5%), Leju (LEJU -9.2%), ChinaCache (CCIH -7.9%), Xunlei (XNET -6.6%), 500.com (WBAI -6.6%), Changyou (CYOU -5.6%), and Baozun (BZUN -5.1%); a slew of others were off by 2%-5%. iDreamSky fell sharply after announcing a going-private offer from its CEO at a price below Friday's close.
- Many of the aforementioned named have risen sharply this year. This morning, CNNMoney observed Shanghai/Shenzhen's combined market cap had reached $10.3T. Shanghai also has become the world's 3rd-most-valuable exchange, trailing only the NYSE (nearly $20T) and the Nasdaq ($7T).
May 11, 2015, 2:37 PM
- The Shanghai exchange rose 3% overnight, continuing a torrid 2015 after the PBOC slashed its benchmark rate by 25 bps in a fresh easing move. A slew of Chinese Internet/mobile names are rallying while the Nasdaq barely budges.
- Gainers include Qihoo (QIHU +3.3%), Weibo (WB +3.4%), SouFun (SFUN +7.2%), Renren (RENN +3.1%), Cheetah Mobile (CMCM +10.6%), ChinaCache (CCIH +7.3%), Autohome (ATHM +4.9%), Xunlei (XNET +7.2%), Jumei (JMEI +7.3%), and Changyou (CYOU +6%).
- The massive rallies occurring in the absence of major company-specific news (particularly for thinly-traded names) have triggered comparisons with the Dot.com bubble. However, many U.S.-traded firms remain well below their 2014 highs, and their forward P/E and P/S multiples (though often not cheap) are generally well below those sported by Dot.com-era darlings.
Apr. 8, 2015, 10:58 AM
- Following a big overnight rally in Hong Kong (followed a 3-day holiday during which Shanghai rallied), beaten-down Chinese Internet and mobile stocks have soared in U.S. trading.
- The biggest gainers include many names that are far below their 2014 highs: The group includes Qihoo (QIHU +10.5%), YY (YY +14.9%), Taomee (TAOM +14.3%), Sina (SINA +8.7%), and Weibo (WB +12.1%). Mobile game publishers Sky-mobi (MOBI +12.6%), China Mobile Games (CMGE +8%), and iDreamSky (DSKY +13.4%) are also sharply higher, as are online real estate plays SouFun (SFUN +13.1%), E-House (EJ +6.1%), and Leju (LEJU +9.8%).
- Giants Alibaba (BABA +3.4%) and Baidu (BIDU +4.1%) aren't being left out. Neither are Youku (YOKU +7.5%), 21Vianet (VNET +7.4%), Momo (MOMO +6.8%), Sohu (SOHU +7.7%), Changyou (CYOU +4.5%), Dangdang (DANG +7.3%), Vipshop (VIPS +4.8%), JD.com (JD +3.9%), Jumei (JMEI +6.6%), Sungy Mobile (GOMO +5.8%), China Techfaith (CNTF +7.1%), and KongZhong (KZ +5.5%).
- Alibaba has proposed an asset injection into its money-losing Alibaba Pictures (+36% in Hong Kong) film arm. Sky-mobi has seen Rosenblatt (Buy) hike its target to $11, while noting many Chinese mobile game developers have been bought out; it thinks Sky-mobi's investments in developers could be worth $140M. NetEase has been upgraded by CICC Research.
- Over in Hong Kong, software/cloud services provider Kingsoft (OTCPK:KSFTF) rose 24.2% to HKD$29.50. Messaging/gaming giant Tencent (OTCPK:TCEHY) rose 3.3% to HKD$154.80.
- ETFs: KWEB, CQQQ, QQQC
Mar. 11, 2015, 3:08 PM
- A day after equity markets tumbled (with many high-beta names especially hard-hit), major tech gainers are outnumbering major decliners, though the Nasdaq is nearly flat.
- Today's notable tech gainers include RF backhaul hardware vendors DragonWave (DRWI +15.6%) and Aviat (AVNW +8%), LED lighting provider Revolution Lighting (RVLT +5.4%) online textbook rental/learning services provider Chegg (CHGG +3.8%), auto site TrueCar (TRUE +5.3%), loan-shopping site owner Lendingtree (TREE +6.9%), telecom equipment vendor Calix (CALX +2.7%), TV/set-top SoC provider Sigma Designs (SIGM +4.9%), and VoIP hardware/software provider Mitel (MITL +3.8%).
- Notable decliners include supercomputer maker SGI (SGI -2.9%), 3D printing software vendor Materialise (MTLS -5.5%), security hardware/software provider KEYW Holding (KEYW -2.9%), and Chinese online game developer Changyou (CYOU -2.9%).
- DragonWave and Aviat are reversing yesterday's big losses. Materialise is making fresh 52-week lows a week after posting mixed Q4 results; KEYW is also seeing new 52-week lows. Revolution's gains continue a volatile post-earnings ride: Shares soared last week after the company posted its Q4 results, but gradually gave back their gains.
- Previously covered: SanDisk, Intel, EMC, SunEdison, Resonant, Immersion, Logitech, VeriFone, Mobileye, Dangdang, InvenSense
Feb. 27, 2015, 2:04 PM
- Many Chinese Internet and mobile names are selling off as the yuan falls to its lowest levels against the dollar since Oct. 2012, thanks to the dollar's broader strength against foreign currencies and ongoing worries China's economy is cooling off. The exchange rate is currently at 6.27.
- A weaker yuan affects the top and bottom lines of Chinese firms, as reported in dollars. It also increases financing costs (should Chinese companies seek to raise capital overseas), and is triggering fears of capital outflows that could lead the yuan to sell off further.
- Notable decliners include YY (YY -5.2%), Vipshop (VIPS -4.1%), SouFun (SFUN -2.1%), Leju (LEJU -3.8%), Bitauto (BITA -3.7%), Autohome (ATHM -3.6%), Sungy Mobile (GOMO -4.2%), Momo (MOMO -6.6%), NetEase (NTES -4.9%), Ctrip (CTRP -2.3%), Qunar (QUNR -3.1%), iDreamSky (DSKY -3.7%), Jumei (JMEI -3.3%), Changyou (CYOU -3.3%), and 500.com (WBAI -4.8%). 500.com was downgraded to Hold by Deutsche today in response to recent provincial license suspensions.
- A few of the aforementioned names also sold off on Wednesday. Forward P/E and P/S multiples for the group are far lower than they were 12 months ago.
Feb. 9, 2015, 12:46 PM
Feb. 9, 2015, 10:34 AM
- Though SOHU beat Q4 estimates, it's guiding for Q1 revenue of $425M-$440M and EPS of -$0.95 to -$1.05, below a consensus of $445.1M and -$0.72.
- Subsidiary Chanyou (NASDAQ:CYOU), which posted a revenue beat and an EPS miss, is guiding for revenue of $195M-$200M and EPS of $0.64-$0.68; the former is below a $201M consensus, and the latter above a $0.24 consensus.
- Changyou has also announced the appointment of Sohu exec Jasmine Zhou as its permanent CFO. Zhou takes over from Rucia Ren, who had been serving as interim CFO.
- Sohu's online game revenue (stems from Changyou) rose 7% Y/Y in Q4 to $184M. Sogou search revenue rose 70% to $119M (share gains), and brand ad revenue 20% to $148M. Changyou's average monthly active accounts and quarterly active paying accounts respectively rose 81% and 59% to 13.9M and 2.7M.
- Sohu's gross margin was 59%, up from Q3's 58% but down from 64% a year ago. Operating expenses rose 16% Y/Y to $288M (compares with 24% revenue growth), with Changyou's opex rising 14% to $149.4M.
- Sohu: Q4 results, PR. Changyou: Q4 results, PR.
Jan. 29, 2015, 11:26 AM
- HSBC has upgraded Changyou (NASDAQ:CYOU) to Overweight from Underweight ahead of its Feb. 9 Q4 report, and hiked its target by $15 to $35.
- JPMorgan upgraded both Changyou and parent Sohu last month. Shares +16% since mixed Q3 results and light Q4 guidance (along with news of CEO Tao Wang's resignation) were provided on Nov. 3.
Changyou.com Ltd. develops and operates online games. It engages in the development, operation, and licensing of online games, including massively multi-player online games (MMOG's) and web-based games, which are played over the internet using a web browser. The company was founded on June 2003... More
Industry: Multimedia & Graphics Software
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