Today, 9:37 AM
- Alibaba's (NYSE:BABA) FQ3 GMV rose 49% Y/Y to RMB787B ($125.9B). However, its monetization rate (revenue as a % of GMV) fell 35 bps Y/Y to 2.7%, leading revenue growth to only reach 40%. By contrast, monetization rate fell just 1 bps (to 2.30%) in FQ2.
- A major culprit: Mobile grew to 42% of GMV from 36% in FQ2 and 20% a year ago. And the mobile monetization rate (1.96% vs. 1.87% in FQ2 and 1.12% a year ago) remains well below the total rate. Mobile was 30% of revenue vs. 42% of GMV.
- A bright spot: EBITDA rose 34% Y/Y to $2.43B, better than expectations for 24% growth and driving the EPS beat. Heavy spending led EBITDA margin to slip to 58% from 60% a year ago. With stock compensation spend (IPO-driven) rising to 16% of revenue from 4%, and new business initiatives growing, operating expenses rose to 33% of revenue from 30%, and gross margin fell to 71% from 78%.
- China commerce revenue +32% to $3.6B (a slowdown from FQ2's 47%); international commerce (AliExpress-driven) +39% to $284M; cloud computing/infrastructure +85% to $58M; everything else (boosted by acquisitions) +266% to $309M.
- Taobao GMV (driven by smaller merchants) +43% to $80B; Tmall GMV (driven by larger merchants) +60% to $47B. Annual active buyers rose to 334M from 307M in FQ2 and 231M a year ago.
- Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) is following Alibaba lower, and is now down 9% since posting Q4 results and announcing its spinoff plans.
- Alibaba's FQ3 results, PR
- Related tickers: OTCPK:SFTBF, OTCPK:SFTBY
Thu, Jan. 15, 1:41 PM
- A month after investing $250M in Southeast Asian ride-sharing platform GrabTaxi, SoftBank (OTCPK:SFTBF) has led a $600M funding round for Travice, owner of major Chinese ride-sharing provider Kuaidi Dache. Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) and Tiger Global also took part in the round.
- The investment comes after Baidu took a stake in Uber, which is fresh off raising funding at a $41B+ post-money valuation. For now, Uber has a much smaller Chinese presence than Kuaidi, which operates in 300+ cities. Top Kuaidi rival Didi Dache raised $700M in December from Tencent and others.
Dec. 4, 2014, 12:31 AM
- SoftBank (OTCPK:SFTBF) has invested $250M in GrabTaxi, a mobile taxi-booking platform that has become Uber's biggest rival in Southeast Asia.
- GrabTaxi, based out of Malaysia, operates in six countries. The startup claims 500K monthly active users, 2.5M app downloads, and a network of 60K drivers. For now, it isn't looking to expand beyond Southeast Asia.
- The investment comes as Uber reportedly looks to raise at least $1B at a whopping $40B valuation. It also follows SoftBank's hiring of former Google chief business officer Nikesh Arora to be its Internet/media chief.
- Since Arora's hiring, SoftBank has acquired Korean TV show/movie site DramaFever, invested $627M in Indian e-commerce marketplace Snapdeal, and led a $210M funding round for Indian Uber rival Ola.
Nov. 30, 2014, 1:19 PM
- "We now model [Sprint] having to raise an additional $3B of capital over the next 3+ years to both continue investing in its network and fighting to attract subs," predicts Evercore's Jonathan Schildkraut, reiterating a Sell on Sprint (NYSE:S). "We believe this financing will come as debt given [Sprint's] low stock price and the likelihood that SoftBank (OTCPK:SFTBF) would not want to dilute its holdings."
- Schildkraut assumes Sprint will have calendar Q4 free cash flow of -$1.3B, leading to full-year cash burn of $2.95B. He adds Sprint's participation in the FCC's huge 2016 incentive auction (widely considered necessary due to Sprint's relatively weak low-band spectrum portfolio) "could result in the need to raise even more capital.'
- As it is, Sprint had $27B in net debt at the end of September (compares with current equity of $20.3B). Aside from price cuts and 4G investments, postpaid subscriber losses (272K were lost in calendar Q3) have been contributing to cash burn.
Nov. 4, 2014, 10:19 AM
- Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) is up 2.7% after beating FQ2 revenue estimates on the back of 54% Y/Y growth - it was driven by a 49% increase in GMV, and more than a 3x increase in mobile monetization rate. EPS was only in-line, as aggressive spending yielded an 890 bps drop in non-GAAP EBITDA margin.
- Yahoo (YHOO +1.3%) is moderately higher following the numbers. Its remaining 384M-share stake in Alibaba has a current pre-tax value of $40.2B. SoftBank's (OTCPK:SFTBF) 797.7M-share stake has a pre-tax value of $83.4B.
Oct. 30, 2014, 1:49 PM
- The WSJ reports SoftBank (OTCPK:SFTBF) has tasked new Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure with "gathering information" on the Mexican telecom assets America Movil (AMX +0.4%) plans to sell to appease regulators.
- AMX was reported last month to have contacted SoftBank (among other carriers) to gauge its interest in buying the assets. BofA has estimated a sale could fetch $15B, but a WSJ source says bidders are eying a ~$10B price.
- AT&T has suggested it's looking to make an offer. Three weeks ago, Carlos Slim told Bloomberg the asset sale could extend beyond Mexico's eastern coast.
Oct. 28, 2014, 2:36 AM
- Softbank (OTCPK:SFTBY) has agreed to buy a $627M stake in Indian online retailer Snapdeal, making it the largest investor in the e-commerce firm.
- "We believe India is at a turning point in its development and have confidence that India will grow strongly over the next decade," says Softbank chairman and CEO Masayoshi Son.
- The deal aims to strengthen the Japanese telecom group's presence in India and leverage synergies with its network of Internet companies around the world.
Oct. 14, 2014, 6:25 PM
- Fresh off taking a $250M stake in studio Legendary Entertainment, SoftBank (OTCPK:SFTBF) has bought DramaFever, a site that offers free (ad-supported) and subscription-based access to foreign movies and TV shows, much of it from South Korea. The price is undisclosed for now.
- Re/code previously reported InterActiveCorp (NASDAQ:IACI) was thinking about buying DramaFever, and said it heard of price tags ranging from $80M-$140M.
- The Legendary and DramaFever deals follow SoftBank's hiring of Google sales chief Nikesh Arora to be the conglomerate's vice chairman and Internet/media chief.
Sep. 30, 2014, 6:57 AM
- A new report has surfaced from The Hollywood Reporter stating that Japan's SoftBank (OTCPK:SFTBY) is in talks to acquire a minority stake in privately held movie studio Legendary Pictures. The publication says the talks have been going on for weeks.
- The news comes following reports that SoftBank's discussions to buy Dreamworks Animation have cooled.
Sep. 29, 2014, 5:47 PM
- The WSJ says it "wasn't immediately clear" what led buyout talks between SoftBank (OTCPK:SFTBF) and Dreamworks (NASDAQ:DWA) to cool. The paper now reports the companies "could ultimately strike a deal other than an outright takeover ... for instance some kind of content partnership."
- DWA -7.4% AH to $26.10. Shares rose 26% in regular trading on reports of acquisition talks featuring a $32/share offer.
Sep. 22, 2014, 7:32 AM
- The Alibaba catalyst in the rearview mirror, Bank of America and Bernstein both pull Buy ratings on Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO).
- Softbank (OTCPK:SFTBF) tumbled 6.1% in Tokyo action overnight. "Part of the market used Softbank as an investment vehicle for Alibaba," says Jefferies' Atul Goyal. "And now that segment of the market doesn’t need to invest in it." Softbank owns 34% of Alibaba and its CEO said last week it has no intention of being a seller. Goyal reminds those selling Softbank today that Alibaba is just one of its investments, and Masayoshi Son has a number of other potential gems in the portfolio.
- Yahoo -2% premarket
Sep. 22, 2014, 5:19 AM
- As Alibaba's (NYSE:BABA) largest stockholder, SoftBank (OTCPK:SFTBF) says it expects a gain of about ¥500B ($4.6B) from the Chinese company's listing in NY, after shares surged 38% on their first day of trade.
- CEO Masayoshi Son says he would want to own more of Alibaba, although he reiterated that SoftBank was happy with its current 32% stake.
- OTCPK:SFTBF +1% AH
Sep. 19, 2014, 12:01 PM
- Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) opened at $92.70 and has quickly jumped to at $99, up 45.6% from a $68 IPO price. Its market cap stands at a whopping $246.6B (66x FY14 EPS), as investors bet the company's strong top-line growth (46% Y/Y in Q2) won't let up.
- Yahoo (YHOO +1.2%) remains higher. With underwriters expected to exercise a 15% overallotment option, the company will be selling 140M shares through the IPO, good for pre-tax proceeds of $9.5B.
- SoftBank's (OTCPK:SFTBF) 797.7M-share stake has a current pre-tax value of $79B.
- Prior Alibaba coverage
- Prospectus, IPO preview
Sep. 18, 2014, 5:30 PM
- Alibaba's (Pending:BABA) IPO price is at the high end of a $66-$68 range. The Chinese e-commerce giant is valued at $167.6B - 20x FY14 (ended March '14) sales and 45x FY14 earnings.
- Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) +0.5% AH. Alibaba begins trading tomorrow.
- Related tickers: OTCPK:SFTBF, OTCPK:SFTBY
- Prior Alibaba coverage, prospectus
Sep. 15, 2014, 2:39 PM
- America Movil (AMX +2.4%) has contacted potential suitors including AT&T (T +0.6%) and SoftBank (OTCPK:SFTBY, OTCPK:SFTBF), and perhaps BCE’s Bell Canada (BCE -0.1%) and China Mobile (CHL +1%), as it prepares to sell assets along the east coast of Mexico that could fetch as much as $17.5B, Bloomberg reports.
- AMX is selling assets in its biggest market to appease antitrust regulators; the Mexico-based carrier, which commands 70% of the local wireless market and 80% of landlines, may get penalties revoked if it cuts market share below 50%.
Sep. 5, 2014, 4:05 PM
- Alibaba (Pending:BABA) has set a $60-$66 IPO price range. That spells a valuation range of $147.9B-$162.7B. The company is looking to offer 320.1M shares - 123.1M new shares, and 197M on behalf of existing holders. At the midpoint of the range, proceeds from the new shares would total $7.7B. (prospectus)
- Yahoo (YHOO +1%) is obligated to sell up to 140M Alibaba shares at IPO time. At the midpoint, that would spell proceeds of $8.8B. Its total stake would be valued at $33B pre-tax, and SoftBank's (OTCPK:SFTBF, OTCPK:SFTBY) at $50.2B. Yahoo has moved higher on the news.
- Earlier: Alibaba to reportedly start trading on Sep. 19
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