Wed, Mar. 25, 10:58 AM
- Baidu (NASDAQ:BIDU) and top search rival Qihoo (NYSE:QIHU) are selling off in early trading. The Nasdaq is down 0.6%, and the Shanghai exchange fell 0.8% overnight.
- Possibly hurting the companies: The health industry chamber of commerce for the city of Putian (a major healthcare services hub) has ordered its members to stop buying medical ads.
- Trader Marc Lehman observes 20% of Baidu's revenue comes from medical ads. HSBC reported last year Putian businessmen run at least 8K of the 10,877 private Chinese hospitals that existed nationwide as of Oct. '13 (per government data).
- Separately, Chinese tutoring services provider Xueda (XUE) has announced the creation of an online education JV with Qihoo. The JV, known as Sunshine Rabbit Technology, currently has less than $5M in registered capital.
- Last week, Bloomberg reported Sohu/Tencent's Sogou search unit is planning an IPO with a $3B+ valuation. That arguably reflects well on Qihoo, which had an estimated 17.3% Q4 search share to Sogou's 6.9% (Baidu was at 74.4%), and whose Web/mobile empire is assigned a total current market cap of $6.3B.
Fri, Mar. 20, 3:02 PM
- With the Nasdaq up 0.9% (and nearing its March 2000 highs) amid a market rally, major tech gainers are easily outnumbering major decliners.
- Following a 1.4% overnight rally in Shanghai, strong Q1 guidance from Ctrip, and a report that Sohu/Tencent's Sogou search engine is planning an IPO, a slew of Chinese tech names are posting big gains. Aside from Ctrip and Sohu, notable gainers include search/browser/security app provider Qihoo (QIHU +4.9%), sports lottery site 500.com (WBAI +12.5%), auto sites Bitauto (BITA +4.2%) and Autohome (ATHM +4.9%), online retailer Vipshop (VIPS +4.7%), data center owner 21Vianet (VNET +6.7%), polysilicon maker Daqo (DQ +6.5%), and chat/dating app owner Momo (MOMO +4.6%).
- Other standouts include optical component vendor Oclaro (OCLR +9.6%), U.S. solar installer Solar3D (SLTD +10%), NFC reader maker On Track (OTIV +10.5%), printer maker Lexmark (LXK +3.7%), and big data/analytics software provider Hortonworks (HDP +10.2%).
- Notable decliners include VoIP hardware/software provider Sonus (SONS -6.1%), solar microinverter leader Enphase (ENPH -4.2%), and authentication hardware/software provider Vasco (VDSI -5.7%).
- Qihoo is adding to Wednesday's gains, while 500.com and 21Vianet are erasing recent losses. On Track is now up 21% over the last two days. Solar3D is adding to the gains seen yesterday following a contract announcement. Vasco had rallied strongly this week before today.
- Previously covered: Ambarella, Spherix, Envivio, Youku, Viggle, Castlight/Benefitfocus, Care.com, Ultra Clean, InterCloud, Perceptron, Violin Memory, Amtech
Fri, Mar. 20, 12:20 PM
- #3 Chinese search engine Sogou is planning an IPO that will feature a $3B+ valuation, Bloomberg reports. Sources add Sogou, which is controlled by Sohu (SOHU +3.7%), could see an offering in 2H15.
- Sogou has been easily outgrowing Sohu's portal and gaming ops: Its revenue rose 70% Y/Y in Q4 to $119M. It had an estimated 6.9% Q4 Chinese search share, trailing Baidu's (NASDAQ:BIDU) 74.4% and Qihoo's (NYSE:QIHU) 17.3%.
- Tencent (OTCPK:TCEHY) bought a 40.9% stake in Sogou in 2013 for $516M, and has integrated Sogou's services with its wildly popular WeChat mobile messaging platform (recently hit 500M MAUs). Aside from search, Sogou's services include a Web directory, games, and popular Chinese-language typing software (Sogou Pinyin).
Wed, Mar. 18, 11:43 AM
- Nomura has hiked its Qihoo (NYSE:QIHU) target by $4 to $69, while reiterating a Buy. The firm cites optimism about Qihoo's expansion into the enterprise security market.
- Meanwhile, Microsoft has announced Qihoo (along with Tencent, Xiaomi, and Lenovo) will help distribute Windows 10 in China following its summer launch. Notably, the OS will be provided as a free upgrade to users of both genuine and non-genuine (i.e. pirated) versions of Windows.
- Qihoo mentioned in its March 9 Q4 report enterprise security sales were better than expected. On the CC (transcript), co-CFO Alex Xu stated Qihoo's enterprise security sales totaled ~$20M in Q4 (their first quarter of revenue generation).
- CEO Hongyi Zhou argued NSA spying fallout will benefit Qihoo - "[A]s you may know, the Chinese government already make it very clear for the foreign security related companies, the foreign entities need to be out in this market." - and that the huge consumer reach of Qihoo's 360 security apps will make penetrating enterprises easier.
Tue, Mar. 10, 11:23 AM
- Up AH yesterday following its Q4 beat, Qihoo (NYSE:QIHU) has fallen to fresh 52-week lows today.
- JG Capital's Henry Guo thinks Qihoo's Q1 guidance (though above consensus) may have left investors wanting more. But he expects a 2H growth pickup.
- Guo: "While Q1 2015 guidance implies significant growth deceleration, we believe it is mainly due to seasonality (Web games and enterprise security) and lottery business disruption ... For the second half of 2015, we see multiple revenue growth drivers, including further desktop search monetization ramp-up, increasing medical/pharmaceutical search contribution, mobile search monetization traction and enterprise security revenue."
- Shares now go for 12x 2015E EPS and 9x 2016E EPS. Estimates have fallen slightly post-earnings.
Mon, Mar. 9, 6:37 PM
- In addition to beating Q4 estimates, Qihoo (NYSE:QIHU) is guiding for Q1 revenue of $375M-$380M (+41%-43% Y/Y), above a $374M consensus. Meanwhile, with a prior $200M buyback recently used up, a new $200M buyback has been authorized.
- After rising 110% Y/Y in Q3, operating expenses (non-GAAP) rose 84% Y/Y in Q4 to $201.2M (compares with 95% revenue growth), and were up less than 1% Q/Q. A mix shift towards and search ad and mobile revenue continues pressuring gross margin: It fell to 76.1% from Q3's 77.3% and the year-ago period's 86.4%.
- Search and mobile growth drove an 70.8% Y/Y increase in ad revenue to $243.2M. Mobile gaming growth led Internet value-added service (IVAS) revenue to rise 112.2% to $167.4M; PC gaming was weaker than expected. Enterprise security product sales (launched in Q4) were better than expected.
- Total monthly active users of Qihoo's PC products rose to 509M from Q3's 495M and Q4 2013's 475M. Smartphone users of Qihoo's Mobile Safe app rose to 744M from 673M and 467M. Average daily unique visitors to Qihoo's 360 browser start page rose to 132M from 129M and 119M.
- President Xiangdong Qi: "Both search and mobile app store businesses more than tripled [in 2014] and have ramped up faster than expected ... We are streamlining our monetization system into a fully integrated structure that seamlessly covers PC and mobile, and web and apps."
- QIHU +5.3% AH to $50.15. Shares remain down 28% from where they traded at the time of the Nov. 24 Q3 report.
- Q4 results, PR
Mon, Mar. 9, 6:02 PM
Sun, Mar. 8, 5:35 PM
Fri, Mar. 6, 10:21 AM
- Qihoo (NYSE:QIHU) is up sharply ahead of Monday afternoon's Q4 report. With 2.29M shares already traded, volume appears set to easily surpass a 3-month daily average of 2.46M.
- Pre-earnings short-covering could be helping Qihoo's cause: 9M shares (11% of the float) was shorted as of Feb. 13, and many of those shorts now have large paper profits.
- Last week: Qihoo announces $200M buyback is finished
Fri, Feb. 27, 10:03 AM
- A little less than 5 months after launching a $200M buyback, Qihoo (QIHU +1.4%) states the buyback has been used up. 3.4M shares were purchased at an average price of $58.98.
- Separately, the company has set a Q4 earnings date of March 9. Shares -31% since Qihoo provided a Q3 beat and strong Q4 sales guidance on Nov. 24. They now go for less than 13x 2015E EPS; the 2015 revenue growth consensus is at 48%.
Wed, Feb. 25, 2:57 PM
- A slew of Chinese Web/mobile firms are seeing heavy selling pressure on a day the Nasdaq is nearly flat. Search/security/browser/app store provider Qihoo (QIHU -3.9%) is among the decliners. As are game developer NetEase (NTES -5.8%), game publisher China Mobile Games (CMGE -3.7%), and online real estate plays SouFun (SFUN -3.7%), E-House (EJ -5%), and Leju (LEJU -3.3%).
- YY is also off today, as is 500.com, which disclosed sports lottery license suspensions from provincial authorities.
- Qihoo was hammered last week following a Jefferies downgrade. NetEase is a day removed from announcing it's setting up a U.S. HQ in Silicon Valley to build "a strong pipeline of mobile games for Western audiences from the ground up."
Thu, Feb. 19, 2:58 PM
- Today's notable tech gainers include fiber equipment provider Zhone (ZHNE +10.6%), IP licensing firm VirnetX (VHC +7%), healthcare software provider Allscripts (MDRX +4.8%), app development software provider Pegasystems (PEGA +6%), software outsourcing firm EPAM (EPAM +5.6%), security software/service provider Imperva (IMPV +5.3%), and cloud HR software provider Paylocity (PCTY +4.5%).
- Notable decliners include Chinese search/app store/security app provider Qihoo (QIHU -5.2%), Web hosting/cloud infrastructure provider Rackspace (RAX -3.9%), LED equipment maker Veeco (VECO -4.9%), and analog/mixed-signal chipmaker MagnaChip (MX -5%). The Nasdaq is up 0.4%.
- VirnetX is adding to the Wednesday gains seen after Apple patent review petitions were denied, and Qihoo is adding to the losses seen following a Jefferies downgrade.
- Rackspace and Veeco are reversing the gains they saw yesterday after posting their Q4 reports (I, II), and then some. MagnaChip is now down 58% since posting its Q1-Q3 results a week ago.
- Previously covered: SolarCity, Facebook, Castlight, Applied Materials, DragonWave, Nimble Storage, AVG, Ascent Solar, Netlist
Wed, Feb. 18, 11:26 AM
- Citing online gaming weakness, Jefferies has downgraded Qihoo (QIHU -6.8%) to Hold, and cut its target to $67 (still well above current levels).
- The Chinese gaming market has been intensely competitive for many years - Tencent remains its 800-lb. gorilla - and has also been contending over the last couple of years with a shift towards mobile gaming. Nonetheless, Qihoo's Internet value-added service revenue (mostly gaming-related) rose 157.7% Y/Y in Q3 to $172.8M, thanks in large part to mobile growth.
- Though it hasn't yet set an earnings date, Qihoo's Q4 report is expected to arrive in the coming weeks.
Thu, Feb. 12, 1:21 PM
- Qihoo (QIHU -2.3%) is selling off on an up day for equities after search/app store archrival Baidu slightly missed Q4 revenue estimates and offered soft Q1 guidance.
- Baidu blamed its guidance on "the late timing of Chinese New Year this year and mobile's growing traffic contribution, which monetizes at a rate lower than that of PC."
- Qihoo, which is trying hard to narrow Baidu's big mobile search lead and rapidly grow mobile ad sales along the way, is expected to post its Q4 results later this month.
Fri, Jan. 2, 4:00 PM
- Though Baidu has sold off and Alibaba is near breakeven, a slew of Chinese Internet and mobile names have delivered strong gains on a day the Nasdaq is down fractionally.
- Standouts include online retailers JD.com (JD +3.8%) and Vipshop (VIPS +5%), auto sites Bitauto (BITA +6%) and Autohome (ATHM +3.9%), beaten-down Qihoo (QIHU +4.2%) and NQ Mobile (NQ +8.4%), and newly-public social network/mobile chat platform Momo (MOMO +6.3%).
- Chinese online real estate plays SouFun, E-House, and Leju have delivered 10%+ gains after the city of Beijing hiked a credit ceiling for home purchase loans, and Perfect World has soared after receiving a going-private offer. Renren also had a very good day.
Dec. 16, 2014, 4:53 PM
- Qihoo (NYSE:QIHU) will invest $409.1M to obtain a 45% stake in a mobile phone JV with fast-growing Chinese Android OEM Coolpad. The JV will make phones under Coolpad's well-known Dazen brand, and primarily sell them online.
- As part of the deal, Qihoo will become "the default provider of key mobile services," for Coolpad's entire phone lineup. Qihoo's search engine, app store, and mobile security software are among the covered products.
- Coolpad, which faces off against the likes of Lenovo, Xiaomi, Huawei, and Samsung in China's hotly-competitive Android market, forecast in April its phone shipments would rise 50% this year to 60M units, with a third of the sales coming from online orders. Xiaomi has also seen considerable success selling online.
- The deal could help Qihoo narrow the gap between its mobile and PC search shares; the company is aiming to roughly triple its Chinese mobile search share to 30% within two years. It also stands to bolster the position of Qihoo's app store, which faces stiff competition from Baidu and Tencent.
- Shares sold off to new 52-week lows today. Nomura defended Qihoo amid the rout.
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