Aug. 25, 2014, 12:46 PM
Aug. 25, 2014, 9:11 AM
Aug. 24, 2014, 11:11 PM
Aug. 24, 2014, 5:30 PM
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. 4, 2014, 10:20 AM
- The Chinese government's procurement agency has warned departments not to use antivirus software from Symantec (SYMC -0.6%) and fellow U.S. supplier Kaspersky Lab.
- Qihoo (QIHU +3.4%), which has a giant share of the Chinese antivirus software market, is rallying, though it's worth noting several other Chinese tech companies are also doing well.
- Previously, China's Public Security Ministry had warned Symantec's Data Loss Prevention software had security loopholes that could enable outside access. As in several other regions, NSA-related tensions have been running high in the Middle Kingdom. Local authorities have also launched an anti-monopoly probe against Microsoft.
- The whole of Asia-Pac accounted for 17% of Symantec's FQ4 revenue. FQ1 results arrive on Wednesday.
Jul. 30, 2014, 4:08 PM| Jul. 30, 2014, 4:08 PM | Comment!
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
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%.
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