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. 14, 2014, 5:53 PM
- With Cheetah Mobile (CMCM -4.5%) obtaining 82% of its 2013 revenue from ad sales, and 92.6% from PCs, the ongoing shift in Chinese ad spend from PC to mobile "puts it in a tough spot," writes WestEnd511 in a column now out of embargo.
- The author argues Cheetah's "subscale" position in key markets especially leaves it at a disadvantage relative Qihoo (QIHU +2.1%) and other bigger rivals. Cheetah's mobile security software has an estimated 3% Chinese market penetration vs. 62% for Qihoo's software, 27% for Tencent's, and 18% for Baidu's.
- On PCs, Cheetah's antivirus software has 25% penetration vs. 92% for Qihoo's product and 23% for Tencent's. Its PC browser share is at just 1.3%, well below Qihoo's 24.6% and Internet Explorer's 48.1%.
- The author adds Qihoo, Baidu, and Tencent's popular Android app stores give them a distribution edge. A $16 PT is set based on a sum-of-the-parts analysis.
Jun. 11, 2014, 2:39 PM
- Acquisition-hungry Alibaba (ABABA) is buying the 1/3 of top Chinese mobile browser vendor UCWeb it doesn't yet own for a mixture of cash and stock. The price hasn't been disclosed, but Alibaba claims the deal is the biggest Chinese Web merger in history, exceeding Baidu's (BIDU +0.4%) $1.9B purchase of app store provider 91 Wireless.
- UCWeb has a 50%+ share of the Chinese mobile browser market, and also has 35% of the Indian market. The company claims 500M total browser users, as well as 50M users for its Android app store, which competes against Baidu and Qihoo's (QIHU +3.8%) popular stores.
- More importantly for Baidu (and also relevant for Qihoo), UCWeb claims a 20%+ share of the Chinese mobile search market on the back of 100M active users. A mobile search JV was launched with Alibaba in April.
- Meanwhile, CNBC reports Alibaba will likely file a new F-1 early next week that includes its Q1 results. Odds are Yahoo (YHOO +0.6%), which has been reporting Alibaba's results a quarter in arrears, will move on the numbers.
- CNBC adds Alibaba is still expected to go public in the first week of August. Bloomberg previously reported Alibaba is eying an Aug. 8 IPO.
Jun. 2, 2014, 4:03 PM
- Though Qihoo's (QIHU -4.3%) Q1 EPS beat estimates, it benefited from a $28M one-time gain and was otherwise pressured by surging expenses, writes Nomura, which has cut its PT by $12 to $113.
- The firm has respectively cut its 2014 and 2015 EPS estimates by 10% and 13% to budget for higher expenses, particularly for app pre-install deals.
- Qihoo's opex rose 101% Y/Y in Q1 (still below revenue growth of 141%), and its gross margin fell 790 bps Y/Y to 79.5%.
May 27, 2014, 6:32 PM
- Qihoo (QIHU) expects Q2 revenue of $300M-$305M, well above a $270.2M consensus.
- Q1 results trounced estimates on the back of a 120.9% Y/Y increase in ad revenue to $140M, and a 172.2% increase in value-added service (largely gaming) revenue to $124.8M.
- Improving search/mobile monetization contributed to the ad growth. Qihoo notes it's now estimated to have 25% of the Chinese search market, up from 23% in Q4; the company has been aiming for a 30% share by year's end.
- Total users of Qihoo products/services rose by 4M Q/Q and 38M Y/Y to 497M. Users of Qihoo's 360 Mobile Safe app rose another 13% Q/Q and 96% Y/Y to 538M.
- Daily unique home page visitors rose by 3M Q/Q to 122M, after slipping by 7M in Q4. Average home page daily clicks rose by 91M Q/Q to 772M.
- Gross margin fell to 79.5% from 87.4% a year ago. Opex rose 101% Y/Y to $155.2M.
- Q1 results, PR
May 27, 2014, 6:03 PM| 2 Comments
May 26, 2014, 5:35 PM
May 7, 2014, 10:50 AM
- Has irrational exuberance given way to panic selling? Internet stocks are off again today, as the Street registers disappointment with earnings reports from AOL, Groupon, Zulily, SouFun, 500.com, and King.
- Yahoo (YHOO -6.2%) has fallen below $35 as the Street digests Alibaba's IPO filing. Twitter (TWTR -4.4%), crushed yesterday following its lockup expiration, briefly cracked $30 before rebounding a bit.
- Other decliners: QIHU -8.9%. BITA -7.2%. GOMO -7%. TRLA -5.2%. MELI -4.7%. ANGI -4.6%. Z -4%. YOKU -5.5%. CTRP -5.3%. WUBA -5.3%. JOBS -5.1%. GRUB -4%.
- Internet/social media ETFs: PNQI, SOCL, FDN
Apr. 28, 2014, 10:17 AM
- Sohu (SOHU -4.8%) missed Q1 estimates and provided light Q2 guidance. Meanwhile, as part of a recent crackdown, the Chinese government has pulled The Big Bang Theory and other popular U.S. shows from sites such as Sohu.com, Youku.com (YOKU -4.4%), Baidu's (BIDU -5%) iQiyi, and Tencent Video (TCEHY -2.8%). Time observes The Big Bang Theory has produced 1.3B video views since launching on Sohu TV in '09.
- The news is overshadowing a $1.22B investment in Youku by Alibaba (ABABA) and an affiliated P-E firm, and a WSJ report stating Alibaba is forming a mobile search JV with leading mobile browser firm UCWeb (once targeted by Baidu).
- The deals are the latest in a long line of investments and partnerships struck by Alibaba, Tencent, and Baidu, as each firm tries to build a Web/mobile empire covering over a dozen valuable markets.
- Is Qihoo (QIHU -0.8%) next in line to make a deal? With a $21.6B market cap, the security app/browser/search provider and Baidu rival is the biggest Chinese Internet company to remain independent of the big-3. Qihoo was reported in January to be talking with Alibaba.
- Other decliners: NQ -6.5%. VIPS -5.2%. WB -4.2%. WBAI -3%. LONG -4.5%. QUNR -2.4%.
Apr. 24, 2014, 4:50 PM
- Baidu (BIDU) expects Q2 revenue of RMB11.82B-RMB-12.11B ($1.901B-$1.948B), above a consensus of RMB11.55B.
- Revenue growth accelerated to 59.1% in Q1 from 50.4% in Q4. Online ad customers fell 1.1% Q/Q to 446K after falling 2.8% in Q4, but revenue per ad customer remained steady Q/Q and rose 44.1% Y/Y to RMB20.9K ($3,362).
- As promised, Baidu continues to invest aggressively: SG&A spend soared 136.9% Y/Y to $323.2M, thanks in large to mobile promotional efforts. R&D spend rose 57.5% to $205.4M.
- Traffic acquisition costs rose to 12.4% of revenue from 12.3% in Q4 and 10.2% a year ago. Content costs (fueled by online video licensing) rose to 4.1% of revenue from 3.8% in Q4 and 1.6% a year ago.
- Up in sympathy: SINA +1.6%. SOHU +1%. QIHU +2.6%. YY +1.1%. WB +1.5%. YOKU +1.7%.
- Q1 results, PR
Apr. 15, 2014, 4:55 PM| 8 Comments
Apr. 10, 2014, 4:01 PM
- Following a two-day rebound, high-beta tech stocks are seeing monumental losses once again. The Nasdaq is closing with its biggest one-day decline since 2011 (eclipsing last week's 110-point drop).
- Security hardware/software providers were hard-hit following Imperva's (IMPV -43.8%) big warning: FEYE -11.6%. PANW -6.4%. PFPT -9.8%. FFIV -4.7%. KEYW -6.5%. FTNT -6.9%. QLYS -10.4%.
- Other high-beta enterprise names didn't fare much better: DATA -10%. SPLK -10.3%. WDAY -9.3%. VRNS -8%. EOPN -7.9%. FIO -7.6%. BLOX -9.7%.
- Major Internet decliners: P -11%. YELP -10.6%. ZNGA -6.6%. YY -7.3%. QIHU -9.3%. SINA -6.6%.
- Solar: TSL -10.4%. CSIQ -10.4%. JKS -7.9%. SPWR -7.4%. JASO -6.8%. CSUN -8.2%.
- 3D printing: DDD -10.6%. VJET -13.3%. ONVO -8.1%. XONE -7.7%. SSYS -6.7%.
Apr. 8, 2014, 4:00 PM
- Smart bargain hunting or catching a falling knife? After being bludgeoned almost ceaselessly over the last couple of weeks, many high-beta tech stocks are closing the day with sizable gains.
- The rebound comes on a day when hedge fund Coatue Management announced plans to return over $2B to investors following a 9% March decline caused by tech stock losses. It also comes as several tech giants, including Apple, Microsoft, H-P, and IBM, finish the day near breakeven, or with modest losses.
- Leading U.S. Internet gainers: LNKD +6.2%. P +6%. ZU +5%. SALE +7.2%. SSTK +6%. AOL +4.6%.
- Chinese Internet gainers: EJ +9.1%. WBAI +8.9%. QIHU +7.9%. ATHM +8.1%. YY +6.8%. SFUN +8.7%. GOMO +9.8%. Ctrip and Qunar were among the sector's biggest gainers following M&A rumors.
- Others: FSLR +7%. NMBL +6.2%. NPTN +5.9%. PANW +5.5%. EGHT +5.4%. RFMD +4.9%. QIWI +4.9%. CRUS +4.3%. RALY +5.5%.
Apr. 4, 2014, 5:58 PM
- Cheetah Mobile, a Chinese provider of security, browser, and utility apps, has filed for a $500M IPO. No symbol has been given yet. Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan, Credit Suisse, and Macquarie are underwriting.
- Cheetah is a subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed Kingsoft (KSFTF), which currently owns a 54.1% stake. Its product line includes file-cleaning/privacy app Clean Master (83.9M MAUs as of December), battery-saving app Battery Doctor (52.5M MAUs), Web anti-virus app Duba (141M MAUs), photo collage app Photo Grid (20.9M MAUs), and the Cheetah Browser (50.6M MAUs).
- Its products square off against Qihoo's (QIHU) widely-used security apps and browser. Cheetah had 329.5M total MAUs at the end of 2013, and Qihoo 475M.
- Like Qihoo, Cheetah depends heavily on ad sales (81.7% of 2013 revenue) to monetize its free apps, and also generates revenue by publishing games. Revenue soared 160% in 2013 to $123.9M; net income totaled $10.2M.
- TechNode observes Cheetah CEO Sheng Fu was once the right-hand man of outspoken Qihoo CEO Hongyi Zhou. Qihoo has sued Fu for allegedly using confidential info and breaking a non-compete agreement.
Mar. 26, 2014, 4:04 PM
- Aided by King's poor debut and general momentum stock weakness, U.S. and Chinese Internet stocks have fallen hard for the second time this week.
- In addition to King rival Zynga and newly-minted VR headset maker Facebook, Twitter (TWTR -7.1%) is among the leading U.S. decliners. Exactly 3 months after reaching a peak of $74.73, shares have fallen below their post-IPO opening price of $45.10. They remain well above their $26 IPO price.
- Other U.S. decliners: P -5.2%. Z -6.2%. TRLA -7%. GSVC -4.8%. SVVC -4.1%.
- Many Chinese Internet stocks have also been hit hard. Sungy Mobile (GOMO -23.2%), which posted a Q4 beat and in-line guidance yesterday afternoon, is the biggest decliner. Others: QIHU -8%. WUBA -9.5%. MOBI -10.6%. QUNR -7.8%. NQ -7%. YOD -7.6%. WBAI -7.5%. SOHU -7%. ATHM -6.5%. SFUN -6.3%.
- Internet/social media ETFs: FDN, PNQI, SOCL
Mar. 6, 2014, 5:37 PM
- Qihoo (QIHU) expects Q1 revenue of $226M-$228M, well above a $203M consensus.
- Online ad revenue soared 113% Y/Y to $142.4M after growing 107% in Q3. Search ads, mobile ads, and better monetization of Qihoo's 360 browser home page were responsible. Citing 3rd-party data, Qihoo says its search share rose to 23% during Q4.
- Internet value-added service revenue rose 124% to $78.9M after growing 163% in Q3. PC and mobile games fueled the increase.
- Total users of Qihoo's products/services rose 10M Q/Q and 19M Y/Y to 475M. Smartphone users of Qihoo's 360 Mobile Safe app rose 14% Q/Q and 126% Y/Y to 467M.
- One possible area of concern: Daily unique browser home page visitors averaged 119M, up 28M Y/Y but down 7M Q/Q. Home page daily clicks averaged 681M, up 231M Y/Y but flat Q/Q.
- Opex soared 60% Y/Y to $109.6M, as Qihoo continues investing heavily in both sales and R&D.
- A lot of good news was priced in.
- Q4 results, PR
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