Seeking Alpha Inc. (SOHU)

  • Nov. 12, 2014, 8:04 AM
    • Xiaomi (now China's biggest smartphone vendor and #3 worldwide) and Baidu (NASDAQ:BIDU) are each investing $300M in Baidu's iQiyi video site, China Business Daily reports.
    • Meanwhile, Xiaomi has announced it's taking a stake in major iQiyi rival Youku (NYSE:YOKU) by acquiring shares on the open market. Xiaomi will also license content from Youku, and the companies will "jointly invest in the production and distribution of online video content and movies."
    • The news comes a week after Xiaomi announced it's investing $1B to expand its Web video content library. The company claims 85M active users for its MIUI Android UI (pre-installed on its phones). Baidu/iQyi recently announced it would have distribution rights to 1K+ U.S. movies next year.
    • Baidu, Youku, SOHU, and Tencent have been battling fiercely in a Chinese Web video market that features no dominant YouTube-like player for user-generated/short-form content, nor any dominant Netflix-like player for TV shows and movies. The market has seen huge mobile video growth: Mobile made up over 60% of Youku's Q2 video views.
    • YOKU +3.6% premarket.
    | Nov. 12, 2014, 8:04 AM | 1 Comment
  • Nov. 4, 2014, 1:04 PM
    • China's DoNews reports (citing an internal e-mail) Sohu (SOHU -1%) has reached a deal to acquire Renren's (RENN) video site, and plans to merge it with Sohu Video. Details will reportedly be provided next week.
    • A July report stating Renren is selling Chinese video site Mango TV didn't pan out. However, Renren (having a rough time over the last two years) has unloaded its Nuomi daily deals site to Baidu, and has generally been looking to cut costs.
    • Acquiring would give Sohu more scale as it squares off against Baidu, Youku, and Tencent in a very competitive Chinese online/mobile video market. Shares are off slightly after rallying yesterday (along with those of gaming unit Changyou) post-earnings.
    | Nov. 4, 2014, 1:04 PM | 1 Comment
  • Nov. 3, 2014, 10:11 AM
    • Down sharply premarket after providing light Q4 guidance and announcing Changoyu (CYOU +6.7%) CEO Tao Wang has resigned, Sohu (SOHU +3.4%) and Changyou are now rallying.
    • In addition to any enthusiasm about the CEO, low expectations could be helping Sohu and Changyou out: The companies respectively went into trading down 33% and 25% YTD.
    | Nov. 3, 2014, 10:11 AM | Comment!
  • Nov. 3, 2014, 9:15 AM
    • Along with its Q3 report, Changyou (NASDAQ:CYOU) announces CEO Tao Wang has resigned for "personal reasons." SOHU CFO Carol Yu and Changoyu president Dewen Chen will serve as co-CEOs.
    • The news comes as both Changyou and parent Sohu post mixed Q3 results (EPS beats and revenue misses) and offer light Q4 sales guidance. Sohu expects Q4 revenue of $442M-$462M, mostly below a $461.1M consensus. Changyou expects Q4 revenue of $188M-$198M, below a $199.2M consensus.
    • Changyou's Q3 revenue (42% of Sohu's revenue) fell 1% Y/Y due to a 7% drop in online game revenue to $150.3M; Changyou faces off against Tencent, Perfect World, Shanda, and a slew of other firms in a very competitive Chinese online gaming market.
    • Average monthly active accounts for Changyou's games amounted to 29M, +21% Q/Q and -6% Y/Y. Average monthly accounts for platform channels totaled 275M, +9% Q/Q and +178% Y/Y.
    • Sohu's Sogou search unit continued to perform well: Sales rose 17% Q/Q and 86% Y/Y to $106M. Meanwhile, Sohu's brand ad sales grew 12% Q/Q and 19% Y/Y to $106M.
    • Sohu's gross margin was 58%, flat Q/Q and down from 66% a year ago. Opex was $275M, +3% Q/Q and +47% Y/Y.
    • Sohu: Q3 results, PR. Changyou: Q3 results, PR.
    | Nov. 3, 2014, 9:15 AM | 1 Comment
  • Nov. 3, 2014, 5:50 AM
    • (NASDAQ:SOHU): Q3 EPS of -$0.61 beats by $0.53.
    • Revenue of $430M (+16.7% Y/Y) misses by $7.42M.
    • Press Release
    | Nov. 3, 2014, 5:50 AM | Comment!
  • Nov. 2, 2014, 5:30 PM
  • Oct. 15, 2014, 2:28 PM
    • On a day when the Nasdaq is down 1.8% and the S&P 2.2%, many Chinese Internet stocks are rallying. China's lowest CPI print in five years - it helped the Shanghai exchange rise 0.7% overnight - could be playing a role.
    • Baidu (BIDU +1.1%), Sohu (SOHU +2.8%), Youku (YOKU +4.9%), Vipshop (VIPS +3%), and Weibo (WB +2.9%) are among the standouts. Others: CMGE +6.1%. MOBI +4.1%. NTES +3.5%. DANG +2.3%. SFUN +1.7%. CCIH +1.7%. BITA +1.5%.
    | Oct. 15, 2014, 2:28 PM | 7 Comments
  • Oct. 15, 2014, 2:04 PM
    • Online video execs weren't shy at all about taking some shots at old media during the high-profile MIPCOM event in France this week, observes FierceOnlineVideo.
    • Maker Studios CEO Ynon Kaiz boldly bragged Disney needed to buy his firm in order to stay relevant.
    • Netflix CCO Ted Sarandos took some well-aimed potshots at the movie exhibitor model.
    • Not to be overlooked,'s (NASDAQ:SOHU) Charles Zhang told broadcasters to quit their jobs and move into the online content realm.
    • Earlier today, Lion's Gate talked about big brands getting into the streaming game, while HBO created a buzz with the announcement it will offer a stand-alone service next year.
    • Media stocks are out-performing on the day, with Lion's Gate (LGF +0.4%) even peeking out a rare gain amid the broad market sell-off.
    • Related ETFS: PBS
    | Oct. 15, 2014, 2:04 PM | 1 Comment
  • Sep. 15, 2014, 1:21 PM
    • Maybe looking to raise cash with which to buy Alibaba (Pending:BABA) this week, investors are dumping a wide swath of other Chinese internet names.
    • Qihoo (QIHU -2.6%), (SOHU -5.3%), Baidu (BIDU -3.8%), Sina (SINA -4.9%), Renren (RENN -4%), Weibo (WB -11.3%), YY (YY -7.3%).
    • Previously: Alibaba to boost IPO size
    | Sep. 15, 2014, 1:21 PM | 21 Comments
  • Sep. 10, 2014, 5:35 PM
    • Top gainers, as of 5:15 p.m.: JDSU +13.7%. RMTI +7.3%. GOGO +4.2%. EXXI +2.3%. SOL +2.1%.
    • Top losers, as of 5:15 p.m.: EOPN -27.4%. SOHU -6.5%. FIVE -5.0%. HP -5.0%. RH -3.7%.
    | Sep. 10, 2014, 5:35 PM | Comment!
  • Aug. 22, 2014, 7:03 PM
    • Ahead of Qihoo's (NYSE:QIHU) Q2 report (due Monday morning), CNZZ estimates Qihoo now has 30.2% of the Chinese search market in terms of page views. That's up sharply from the 16.3% it had a year ago, and suggests Qihoo may have already reached its 30% year-end target.
    • Baidu's (NASDAQ:BIDU) share is pegged at 54.5%, down from 67.7% a year ago. Sohu's (NASDAQ:SOHU) Sogou unit is assigned a 12.8% share, up from 9.7% a year ago.
    • Two caveats: 1) iResearch has provided higher search share figures for Baidu, and lower ones for Qihoo, than CNZZ. The firm has argued CNZZ's figures paint an incomplete picture due to a heavy reliance on small/medium-sized sites for data. 2) Qihoo's mobile search position is weaker than its PC search position. Baidu, meanwhile, just topped 500M monthly mobile search users.
    | Aug. 22, 2014, 7:03 PM | 13 Comments
  • Jul. 28, 2014, 2:51 PM
    • Sohu (SOHU +1%) expects Q3 revenue of $427M-$442M and EPS of -$0.75 to -$0.85 vs. a consensus of $451.4M and -$0.97. Subsidiary Changyou (CYOU +0.9%) expects Q3 revenue of $186M-$192M and EPS of -$0.11 to $0.00 vs. a consensus of $200.1M and -$0.04.
    • While respectively up 275% and 86% Y/Y, Changyou's sales/marketing and R&D spend fell 14% and 30% Q/Q in Q2 to $69.4M and $49M. That helped both Changyou and Sohu beat EPS estimates in spite of revenue misses. Sohu's total opex fell 8% Q/Q and rose 67% Y/Y to $267M.
    • Changyou notes it "scaled back its advertising and promotion of its PC-based and mobile-based software applications" in Q2. The R&D spend decline is attributed to lower expenses related to employee incentive plans.
    • Each company saw declining gross margins: Changyou's GM fell to 76% from 78% in Q1 and 83% a year ago, and Sohu's fell to 58% from 62% in Q1 and 66% a year ago. In addition to Changyou, Sohu's GM was dinged by lower advertising margins caused by higher content/bandwidth costs.
    • While Changyou's gaming revenue fell 9% Y/Y to $154M, Sohu's search/other revenue grew 84% Y/Y to $85M, and its brand ad revenue grew 33% Y/Y to $133M.
    • Revenue related to the Sogou search engine (largely search/other) rose 30% Q/Q and 82% Y/Y to $91M. Average monthly active accounts for Changyou's games fell 14% Q/Q and 33% Y/Y to 24M. Changyou's platform channel accounts grew 5% Q/Q and 196% Y/Y to 252M.
    • Q2 results: Sohu, Changyou
    | Jul. 28, 2014, 2:51 PM | Comment!
  • Jul. 28, 2014, 2:39 AM
    • (NASDAQ:SOHU): Q2 EPS of -$0.88 beats by $0.41.
    • Revenue of $400M (+18.0% Y/Y) misses by $8.21M.
    • Press Release
    | Jul. 28, 2014, 2:39 AM | 1 Comment
  • Jul. 27, 2014, 5:30 PM
  • Jul. 25, 2014, 5:32 PM
    • Goldman has raised its 2014-2016 Baidu (BIDU +10.9%) EPS estimates by 17%-23% following its sizable Q2 EPS beat and above-consensus Q3 guidance, and hiked its target by $35 to $260. BofA/Merrill, Deutsche, and Piper have also raised their Baidu PTs.
    • Goldman was pleased with several datapoints provided in the Q2 report and CC (transcript). Among them: 1) Baidu topped 500M mobile search monthly active users (MAUs) in June. 2) Maps MAUs have passed 200M. 3) Baidu's app distribution platforms (led by 91 Wireless) averaged 130M downloads/day in Q2. 4) The Nuomi daily deals unit (acquired from Renren) has seen its user base double since Q4.
    • BofA/Merrill observes Baidu's aggressive spending growth is now being fueled more by hiring than by marketing spend, something it expects will translate into future leverage. Marketing spend fell to 11.5% of revenue from 14.1% in Q1, while R&D grew to 14.6% from 13.6%.
    • Baidu made fresh highs today, and provided a lift to rivals Qihoo (QIHU +3.7%) and Sohu (SOHU +2.2%) along the way.
    | Jul. 25, 2014, 5:32 PM | 5 Comments
  • Jul. 18, 2014, 11:05 AM
    • Rucia Ren, formerly a senior finance manager at Baidu, has been named Changyou's (CYOU -1.5%) new acting CFO.
    • Ren replaces Erin Sheng, who has been serving as interim CFO since former CFO Alex Ho left Changyou earlier this year to start his own company.
    • Changyou, which accounts for nearly half of Sohu's (SOHU -0.1%) sales, posted a sizable Q1 loss due to heavy marketing/promotional spend for its games. More losses are expected for Q2.
    | Jul. 18, 2014, 11:05 AM | Comment!
Company Description Inc is a Chinese online media, search, gaming, community and mobile service group providing comprehensive online products and services on PCs and mobile devices in the People's Republic of China.