Oct. 4, 2013, 12:24 PM
- Chinese Internet firms, already shown plenty of love by momentum traders this year, are rallying again following the release of Twitter's public S-1.
- Chinese microblogging leader Sina (SINA +4%) is among the gainers, and so are fellow social networking plays YY (YY +3.2%) and Renren (RENN +9.7%). But several other names are also taking part in the rally: BIDU +2%. NQ +2.7%. CYOU +6.9%. DANG +4.1%. SOHU +5.4%. SFUN +5.8%. AMAP +3.4%. QIHU +2%.
- Twitter mentioned in its S-1 78% of the 218.3M monthly active users it had at the end of Q2 were outside the U.S. But few of them are in China, where its services (like Facebook's) are generally blocked.
Sep. 26, 2013, 6:00 PM
- Things have turned bitter between Qihoo (QIHU) and SOHU after the latter sold a 36.5% stake in its Sogou search unit to Tencent instead of to Qihoo, as had been speculated. After trading barbs publicly, the two companies are now suing each other over allegations that both companies' software is switching users' browser preferences without permission.
- Beneath the surface of verbal and legal jabs, Qihoo may damage Sohu in a more material way. Wedge Partners analyst Juan Lin notes, "A significant share of Sogou’s search traffic is through traffic acquisition (around 40%) and directed by the Sogou browser. Since Qihoo’s PC anti-virus software has penetrated into over 90% of Chinese internet users, we think it may create difficulties for Sogou to further develop its search engine and browser."
- Further, "[T]here is a risk that Qihoo will reduce the traffic it directs to Sohu video. Currently around 10% of Sohu video traffic comes from Qihoo, and the share has been increasing rapidly."
Sep. 26, 2013, 10:04 AM
- In a coverage launch for Chinese Internet stocks, Baidu (BIDU +0.7%), Ctrip (CTRP +0.2%), Sohu (SOHU +2.5%) Changyou (CYOU +5.4%), and Dangdang (DANG +8.5%) have been started at Outperform by Credit Suisse.
- Tableau (DATA +0.5%) has been started at Outperform by FBN.
- Cavium (CAVM +1.6%) has been started at Overweight by Morgan Stanley.
- Blue Nile (NILE +4.7%) has been started at Buy by B. Riley.
- Applied Materials (AMAT +0.1%) has been upgraded to Buy by Berenberg two days after the Tokyo Electron deal was announced.
- IT/chip distributors Arrow (ARW) and (AVT +0.2%) have been cut to Neutral by UBS.
- HomeAway (AWAY -3.9%) has been cut to Equalweight by Morgan Stanley.
Sep. 18, 2013, 12:49 PM
Sep. 18, 2013, 10:35 AM
- Sohu (SOHU +8.4%) has provided details about the $301M special dividend it's paying to holders of Series A preferred shares in its Sogou search unit, courtesy of the $448M investment Sogou is receiving from Tencent. Sohu sold off yesterday after Wedge Partners highlighted the dividend, and declared it to amount to insider highway robbery.
- $161.2M of the dividend payment will go to Sohu's Sohu.com unit, and thus stay within the company. $96.7M will go to minority shareholder China Web Search.
- Most notably, an investment vehicle owned by chairman/CEO Charles Zhang will only receive $43M, even though it owns 60% more Series A shares than Sohu.com. Zhang chose to receive dividend payments on only 1/6 of the Series A shares he owns through the vehicle.
Sep. 17, 2013, 5:36 PM
Sep. 17, 2013, 12:39 PM
- After opening higher thanks to Goldman's upgrade, Sohu (SOHU -1.1%) has turned negative following a Wedge Partners note that observes the company's Sogou search unit will use $301M of the $448M investment it will receive from Tencent to pay a special dividend to owners of Sogou's Series A preferred stock (as disclosed in a Sohu 8-K).
- Wedge declares the dividend payment to be an example of insider highway robbery.
- Shares still +6% from where they traded before the Tencent announcement.
Sep. 17, 2013, 8:12 AM
- SOHU gains another 2.6% premarket after Goldman Sachs puts the name on its Conviction Buy list with $98 per share price target, a modest 40% above yesterday's close. Costly investments in video, search, and mobile are about to pay off in the form of accelerating earnings, says Goldman.
- Sohu flew 7.5% yesterday following its deal with Tencent.
Sep. 16, 2013, 11:44 AM
- Though Tencent's (TCEHY.PK, TCTZF.PK) acquisition of a 36.5% stake in Sohu's (SOHU +6.9%) Sogou search unit stands to make Sogou a greater threat to Baidu (BIDU +2%), given Tencent's plans to promote Sogou throughout its messaging/gaming empire, Baidu investors appear relieved Qihoo, which was in talks with Sohu, didn't end up reaching a deal.
- Research firm CNZZ recently estimated Qihoo now has over 15% of the Chinese search market, and the company itself recently pegged its share at 20%. Acquiring Sogou (estimated 8.8% share) would've given Qihoo additional scale and resources as it challenges Baidu's dominant position.
- Meanwhile, Tencent rose 2.5% in Hong Kong overnight, before the Sogou deal was announced. The company's market cap has topped $100B.
- Chinese Web giants Baidu, Tencent, and Alibaba are increasingly stepping on each others' toes. While Tencent and Alibaba have been relying on partnerships/minority investments to grow their reach, Baidu has been more interested in acquisitions and controlling stakes.
Sep. 16, 2013, 9:17 AM
Sep. 16, 2013, 8:23 AM
- SOHU gains 6.4% premarket after announcing a strategic cooperation deal with Tencent (TCEHY.PK, TCTZF.PK), initiated by Tencent investing $448M and the two merging their search businesses. After the deal, Tencent will own 36.5% of Sogou's equity capital, which could further increase to 40% in the near future.
- Off 5% premarket is Qihoo (QIHU) which had been speculated as the buyer of Sohu's Sogou search unit.
- Press release.
- Conference call to discuss the transaction begins at 8:30 ET.
Aug. 30, 2013, 12:48 PM
- The China mobile internet sector has collected enough users, J.P. Morgan says, and prefers Qihoo (QIHU -0.7%) and Tencent (TCEHY.PK, TCTZF.PK) because they have already amassed large mobile platforms.
- Both companies should continue to capitalize on China’s booming mobile economy, the firm says; it expects Tencent to capture 30%-35% mobile game share by the end of 2014 through content development and distribution, while QIHU could take 10% through distribution.
- The firm cuts Youku (YOKU -2.7%) and Sohu (SOHU -2.1%) to Neutral from Overweight.
- JPM also likes online real estate services platform Soufun (SFUN +4.6%) for its market leading position; users seem sticky and barrier to entry seems high.
Aug. 30, 2013, 9:41 AM
- Deutsche upgrades ARM Holdings (ARMH +0.7%) to Buy. Analyst Kai Korschelt thinks Intel fears are overblown and will have limited impact on ARM's EPS going forward.
- Bernstein upgrades Telecom Italia (TI +8.6%) to Outperform. TI is down 27.3% in the last year as the telco has been roiled by the spectre of credit downgrades and antitrust troubles.
- JPMorgan scythes a number of Chinese tech stocks: Dangdang (DANG -4.7%) to Underweight with a PT of $6.50, Youku Tudou (YOKU -1.3%) to Neutral with a PT of $23, and Sohu.com (SOHU -0.7%) to Neutral with a PT hike to $66 ($56 previous).
- JPMorgan also initiated a number of Chinese stocks: Soufun (SFUN +1.5%) with an Overweight rating and PT of $49 and YY (YY +1.1%) with an Overweight rating and PT of $47.
- Swedbank downgrades Nokia (NOK -2.4%) to Reduce.
Aug. 28, 2013, 11:22 AM
- Qihoo's (QIHU -6.6%) 2018 convertible notes carry an interest rate of 2.5%, and a conversion price of $110.96 (51% above current levels). (PR)
- Goldman estimated (before the deal was priced) the offering would dilute EPS by 4%-6%. The firm thinks Qihoo will use the proceeds " to strengthen its presence in the key strategic areas, such as in mobile gaming and search," to counter the expansion efforts of rivals.
- Judging by today's rally in Sohu (SOHU +4.7%) shares, some investors are clearly betting Qihoo will use the funds to strengthen its search presence by acquiring Sohu's Sogou unit, for which Qihoo has already held buyout talks.
- Previous: Qihoo announces $550M convertible debt offering
Jul. 30, 2013, 9:43 AM
- Bankrate (RATE +13.6%) has been upgraded to Buy by BofA in response to its Q2 report.
- SanDisk (SNDK -2.5%) has been cut to Neutral by Goldman.
- OpenTable (OPEN -1.3%) has been cut to Neutral by Macquarie.
- Sohu (SOHU -0.7%) has been cut to Equal Weight by Morgan Stanley following yesterday's Q2 report (I, II).
- EDA software firms Mentor Graphics (MENT -0.1%) and Synopsys (SNPS +0.8%) have been started at Outperform by Pac Crest. Rival Cadence (CDNS -0.2%) has been started at Sector Perform.
Jul. 29, 2013, 12:45 PM
Sohu.com 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.
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