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!
Jan. 13, 2014, 9:56 AM
- H-P (HPQ +3.7%) and Teradata (TDC +1.8%) have been started at Overweight by Atlantic Securities.
- BlackBerry (BBRY -6.2%) has been cut to Underperform by Oppenheimer following a major rally over the last four weeks. RBC upgraded shares last Friday.
- F5 (FFIV +3.7%) has been upgraded to Outperform by William Blair.
- Qihoo (QIHU +4.3%) has been upgraded to Buy by Stifel, and started at Buy by UBS. Shares fell last Thursday following a report questioning the size of the company's search share gains, and rose the day before thanks to an Alibaba investment rumor.
- Cree (CREE -6.6%) has been cut to Hold by Stifel.
- Autodesk (ADSK +1.8%) has been upgraded to Overweight by Morgan Stanley.
- Skyworks (SWKS +4.7%) has been upgraded to Buy by B. Riley.
- Red Hat (RHT +4.4%) has been upgraded to Overweight by Morgan Stanley.
- Fortinet (FTNT +2.1%) has been upgraded to Overweight by Morgan Stanley.
- HomeAway (AWAY +2%) has been upgraded to Overweight by Barclays.
- Garmin (GRMN +1.1%) has been upgraded to Outperform by Oppenheimer.
- Nimble Storage (NMBL +2.2%) has been upgraded to Outperform by Pac Crest. The firm started Nimble and Sector Perform just six days ago.
- Peregrine Semi (PSMI -9.1%) has been cut to Hold by Deutsche.
- Sanmina (SANM -7%) has been cut to Underperform by Raymond James.
- Symantec (SYMC -2.3%) has been cut to Underweight by Morgan Stanley.
- NCR (NCR +2.2%) has been started at Overweight by JPMorgan, and added to the firm's Focus List.
- Vipshop (VIPS +1.8%) has been started at Buy by UBS.
- Parametric Sound (PAMT +4.5%) has been started at Strong Buy by Needham.
Jan. 9, 2014, 5:38 PM
Jan. 9, 2014, 10:44 AM
- China's iResearch estimates Qihoo (QIHU -6.5%) has only a 14.4% Chinese search share (translation). That's well below the 22.4% estimated by frequently-referenced CNZZ, as well as Qihoo's own numbers; the company stated on its Q3 CC (transcript) it believes its Chinese search share is "comfortable above 20%."
- An iResearch analyst suggests CNZZ's reliance on traffic data from small/medium-sized sites provides it with an incomplete picture of Chinese search trends. iResearch claims to analyze data from 3K+ sites (including large ones) and 1K+ apps.
- If iResearch's figure is reasonably accurate, it would be a positive for Baidu (BIDU -0.2%). Most of the share gains Qihoo has seen since launching its search engine in the summer of 2012 have come at Baidu's expense. CNZZ estimates Baidu had a 63.1% search share in December (-860 bps Y/Y).
- Qihoo is giving back a majority of the gains it saw yesterday following an Alibaba investment rumor. The company has said it's aiming to have a 30% search share by the end of 2014.
Jan. 8, 2014, 10:08 AM
- "Industry insiders" tell Marbridge Consulting Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba (ABABA) is talking with Qihoo (QIHU +6.6%) regarding a possible investment in the search/browser/security software provider. The talks are said to have been "underway for a significant period of time."
- Though its track record isn't perfect, Marbridge has provided some accurate scoops in the past. Moreover, Alibaba has already made sizable investments in Sina and AutoNavi. The investments are part of the company's efforts to expand its Web empire, and thereby better compete with messaging/gaming leader Tencent and search king/Qihoo rival Baidu.
- However, China's 86Research thinks the odds of an Alibaba investment in Qihoo remain low.
Jan. 8, 2014, 9:11 AM
Dec. 31, 2013, 10:02 AM
- Qihoo's (QIHU +2.6%) Sina Weibo stream (translation) indicates the company has formed a partnership with Apple related to its mobile security apps. The company suggests details will be arriving shortly.
- The news comes ten months after Qihoo's iOS apps were banned from the App Store, allegedly due to abuses such as the manipulation of App Store rankings and the encouraging of jailbreaking.
- Ahead of China Mobile's iPhone launch, Kantar Worldpanel has estimated the iPhone only had a 15.5% smartphone share within "Urban China" from August-October. But iPhone users (in aggregate) represent a wealthier demographic than Android users, and could thus monetize better.
- Thanks to strong Android-related demand, there were already 408M users of Qihoo's 360 Mobile Safe security app as of September, up from a mere 149M a year earlier.
Dec. 10, 2013, 12:49 PM
- Pac Crest (Outperform) says its Chinese checks indicate Baidu's (BIDU +3.9%) Q4 trends are stable, at the company's growth rate can match that of the Chinese search market going forward.
- Though shares have risen sharply this year thanks to improved ad monetization (particularly on mobile) and a general rally in Chinese Internet stocks, concerns about search share losses to Qihoo (QIHU +1.4%) and (to a lesser extent) Sohu's (SOHU +2%) Sogou unit have persisted.
- Research firm CNZZ estimates Baidu had a 61.7% Chinese search share in October, down from 73.5% a year earlier. Over the same time, Qihoo's share surged to 21.4% from 9.8%, and Sogou's rose to 10.5% from 7.5%.
Nov. 26, 2013, 1:33 PM
- Citi, Goldman, Macquarie, Jefferies, and Maxim have raised their Qihoo (QIHU +6.4%) PTs following the company's Q3 report (I, II). That's helping shares recoup a big chunk of yesterday's post-earnings losses; they're now only down 3% from Friday's close.
- Citi (Buy, $87 PT) has lifted its 2013-2015 EPS estimates by 7%-16% in response to Qihoo's Q3 beat and solid Q4 guidance. Macquarie (Outperform, $118 PT) praises Qihoo's search and mobile momentum: The firm estimates search revenue rose 87% Q/Q and made up 15% of total revenue, and that mobile revenue rose 67% Q/Q and made up 13% of total revenue.
- Goldman (Neutral, $79 PT) notes management stated on the CC (transcript) Qihoo's Chinese search share is up to 22%, and estimates its share is now 700-800 bps above that of Sohu's (SOHU +2.9%) Sogou unit.
- At the same time, with Qihoo estimating it only has a 1% search revenue share - Goldman thinks Sogou's search revenue remains 2x larger - the firm sees plenty of room to improve monetization. However, it cautions the investments needed to so are likely to depress near-term margins.
- Separately, a source tells Marbridge Consulting Qihoo plans to separate the management of its mobile gaming ops from that of its Android app store business. The source adds Qihoo's mobile gaming revenue now exceeds its PC browser gaming revenue.
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