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
Mar. 6, 2014, 5:06 PM| 2 Comments
Mar. 6, 2014, 12:10 AM
Mar. 5, 2014, 5:35 PM
Mar. 5, 2014, 10:06 AM
- Qihoo's (QIHU +1.4%) mobile apps, including the flagship 360 Mobile Safe (had 408M smartphone users at the end of Q3), are have returned to the iOS App Store more than a year after getting pulled due to abuses that included the manipulating app store rankings and encouraging jailbreaking.
- IDC estimates the iPhone only had a 7% Chinese smartphone share in Q4, and that the iPad had a 28% Chinese tablet share in Q2. But their user bases represent a wealthier demographic that (on average) is easier to monetize than Chinese Android users.
- Qihoo's Q4 report arrives tomorrow.
Feb. 27, 2014, 11:06 AM
- Citing concerns about a soft 2014 margin outlook (the result of aggressive investments), Morgan Stanley has cut Baidu (BIDU +2.3%) to Equal-Weight in spite of its Q4 beat and strong Q1 guidance. Shares have given back a large chunk of yesterday's AH gains.
- Stifel, however, has upgraded shares to Buy and lifted its PT to $238. It expects Baidu's mobile queries will grow to account for over half its total queries in 2014, and notes mobile search ad prices (CPCs) are now at 60% of PC levels (up from 55% in Q3).
- The firm forecasts 53% and 49% revenue growth in 2014 and 2015, respectively. Adjusted EBITDA is only expected to rise 9% in 2014, but growth is expected to surge to 51% in 2015.
- Maxim notes mobile's revenue share doubled from Q1 to Q4, and Goldman observes Baidu's app stores, locked in fierce competition with Qihoo (QIHU +2.2%), have a 41% share of Chinese app distribution, per research firm Analysys.
- CEO Robin Li suggested on the CC (transcript) Baidu, which made a string of big acquisitions in 2013, is open to more M&A in 2014. He also claimed over 60% of mobile ad customers now have a mobile-optimized landing page.
Feb. 18, 2014, 4:03 PM
- On a good day for many tech momentum plays, solar and Chinese Internet stocks led the way.
- Solar names could be benefiting from Chinese government remarks suggesting Beijing remains open to trade talks to end its ongoing solar import dispute with the U.S. The comments come after the ITC added Chinese solar panels made with Taiwanese cells to its list of Chinese panels covered by import duties.
- Also: SunEdison (SUNE +6.6%) has filed for an IPO for its solar project business, a move that could entice other companies with major solar project ops to do the same.
- Solar gainers: FSLR +6.9%. SCTY +8%. JASO +12.6%. DQ +9.2%. CSUN +8.1%. YGE +5.5%. JKS +5.3%.
- Chinese Web gainers: CTRP +11.5%. CCIH +16.8%. RENN +11%. YOKU +6.1%. QIHU +6.9%. WUBA +10.6%. WBAI +7.9%. GOMO +9.1%. SOHU +5.6%.
- Solar ETFs: KWT, TAN
Jan. 23, 2014, 9:59 AM
- SEC administrative law judge Cameron Elliot has barred the Chinese units of the Big-4 accounting firms - KPMG, Deloitte, PwC, and Ernst & Young - from auditing U.S.-listed companies for six months.
- Elliot declares the accounting firms "willfully" chose to withhold audit work papers from U.S. regulators for Chinese companies being investigated for accounted fraud. The firms have been worried about violating Chinese privacy laws by turning over the papers, and have argued the dispute needs to be resolved politically.
- Though the firms plan to appeal and say they can continue serving Chinese clients for now, shares of Chinese Web and solar names aren't handling the news well. Soft Chinese PMI data could be worsening matters.
- Chinese Web decliners: BIDU -2.5%. SOHU -3.2%. DANG -8.9%. SFUN -8.5%. PWRD -8.5%. QUNR -7.1%. LITB -6.5%. YY -6.1%. WUBA -6%. BITA -5.4%. EJ -5.9%. SINA -4.6%. LITB -6.5%. CTRP -5.4%. NQ -7.1%.
- Chinese solar decliners: TSL -8.7%. JASO -6.9%. SOL -6.3%. JKS -5.6%. CSIQ -5.4%. DQ -4.6%. YGE -5.6%. CSUN -6.2%. HSOL -7.8%.
- Qihoo (QIHU -4.6%) has joined the selloff in spite of a BrightWire report stating Alibaba (ABABA) has reached a deal to acquire a stake in the company. Marbridge Consulting reported two weeks ago Qihoo and Alibaba were in talks about a possible investment.
Jan. 23, 2014, 9:12 AM| Comment!
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