Mar. 16, 2014, 2:37 AM
- Chinese micro-blogging service Weibo has filed to raise $500M in an IPO in the U.S.
- The company had 129M users at the end of last year vs Twitter's 241M, while 2013 revenue almost tripled to $188M. However, the firm made losses of $38M and warned of uncertainty due to Chinese regulation (read censorship).
- Weibo's filing comes ahead of an expected IPO submission from Internet giant Alibaba, which owns a 19% stake in Weibo. Sina (SINA) owns 78%.
- ETF: IPO
Mar. 14, 2014, 5:37 PM
Mar. 6, 2014, 10:13 AM
- Sources tell PrivCo Sina (SINA +6.6%) plans to launch a Weibo IPO as early as June. That's in-line with a recent WSJ report stating a Q2 offering is planned.
- Citing peer valuations (including those given to WhatsApp and Twitter), PrivCo thinks Weibo is worth up to $8B; the FT has reported Sina (current market cap of $4.7B) is aiming for a $7B-$8B valuation.
- Such a valuation would spell a windfall for Alibaba (ABABA), which bought an 18% stake in the Chinese microblogging leader last year at a $3.26B valuation, and has an option to up its stake to 30%.
Feb. 25, 2014, 5:51 PM
- Though up 163% Y/Y, Sina's (SINA -9.3%) Weibo ad sales were below Deutsche's forecast, says analyst Vivian Hao while taking stock of the company's Q4 report. Hao, who maintains a Buy on Sina, also notes earnings would've missed estimates if not for a $19.5M change in the fair value of investor option liability for Alibaba's Weibo investment.
- At the same time, she's pleased ad sales tied to Alibaba's Taobao and Tmall sites grew 19% Q/Q to $23.8M, aided by a shift to impression-based (CPM) pricing. Hao asserts Weibo's strategic value "remains solid" in the face of stiff competition, given the "scarcity of sizable mobile-popular marketing platforms in China," but also expects a spending ramp to once more pressure near-term margins.
- Sina mentioned on its CC (transcript) Weibo's daily active users rose 4% Q/Q and 36% Y/Y to 61.4M, after adjusting for a methodology change. Average time spent per Weibo DAU rose 3% Q/Q and 16% Y/Y, with mobile engagement growing and PC engagement slipping.
Feb. 24, 2014, 5:46 PM
Feb. 24, 2014, 4:49 PM
- SINA expects Q1 revenue of $162M-$167M, in-line with a $165.2M consensus. Ad revenue is expected to total $133M-$136M, non-ad revenue $29M-$31M.
- Ad revenue +45% Y/Y in Q4 to $160.1M, a major pickup from Q3's 26% growth rate. Non-ad revenue +36% to $32.3M vs. only +5% in Q3.
- Weibo is the main reason growth has accelerated: Weibo ad revenue +163% Y/Y to $56M, Weibo non-ad revenue (data licensing, gaming, membership fees) +114% to $15.4M.
- Gross margin was 64%, flat Q/Q and +700 bps Y/Y. Opex +35% Y/Y, trailing revenue growth (43%) after exceeding it in many recent quarters.
- No Weibo IPO announcement has been made. The WSJ reported this morning Sina is eying a ~$500M Q2 IPO for Weibo.
- Q4 results, PR
Feb. 24, 2014, 4:35 PM
Feb. 24, 2014, 10:56 AM
- The WSJ reports Sina (SINA +4.5%) is planning a $500M Q2 IPO for Weibo, and has hired hired Credit Suisse and Goldman to handle the offering.
- The paper adds Alibaba (ABABA) will likely up its stake in Weibo to 30% from its current 18% (purchased last year for $568M) in the event of an IPO. Sina currently owns 71% of Weibo, a stake Barclays thinks is worth $4.1B; the company's total market cap currently stands at $5.1B.
- Sina has made huge strides in monetizing Weibo in recent quarters. The microblogging service's ad sales rose 46% Q/Q and 125% Y/Y in Q3 to $43.7M, and its value-added service revenue rose 26% Q/Q and 121% Y/Y to $9.7M.
- At the same time, Weibo's engagement rates have been pressured by the manic growth seen for Tencent's (TCEHY) WeChat mobile messaging platform. Weibo had 60.2M daily active users at the end of Q3, +11% Q/Q. WeChat ended Q3 with 271.9M monthly active users, +15% Q/Q.
- Sina might make an official announcement in tandem with this afternoon's Q4 report.
Feb. 24, 2014, 9:11 AM
Feb. 24, 2014, 12:10 AM
Feb. 23, 2014, 5:35 PM
Jan. 29, 2014, 4:48 PM
- Several high-flying Internet stocks are getting a lift from Facebook's big Q4 beat, which was accompanied by news the social networking giant's mobile ad sales rose ~4x Y/Y and now account for over half of its ad sales.
- TWTR +4.1% AH. LNKD +2.6%. YELP +2.2%. Z +2%. GRPN +1.6%. SINA +0.7%.
- Google reports tomorrow. Twitter and Yelp are due up on Feb. 5, and LinkedIn on Feb. 6.
Jan. 27, 2014, 12:44 PM
- U.S. and Chinese Internet stocks are adding to last week's big losses, as investors continue taking profits following major 2013 gains. Chinese stocks were hit last week by an emerging markets selloff, weak PMI data, and an SEC ban (pending appeal) on audits from the Chinese units of big-4 U.S. accounting firms.
- Twitter (TWTR -8.2%), the company bears are most likely to point to when arguing a new Internet stock bubble has formed, is headlining the U.S. decliners. Shares are still up 25% from their post-IPO opening trade of $45.10.
- Other U.S. decliners: GOOG -3.1%. FB -2.9%. YELP -5.3%. Z -5.1%. LNKD -4.3%. P -3.2%. ANGI -4.1%. ZNGA -3.1%. GRPN -3.1%.
- Chinese decliners: BIDU -2.9%. CCIH -19%. BITA -14.6%. CTRP -7.4%. NQ -7.9%. LONG -9.4%. DANG -7.3%. SOHU -4.3%. GOMO -5.8%. SINA -3.3%. QUNR -7.7%. SFUN -5.4%. WBAI -7.5%. RENN -5%.
- Internet/social media ETFs: FDN, PNQI, SOCL
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. 17, 2014, 9:48 AM
- Sina (SINA -5%) has been cut to Hold by Jefferies. Shares fell yesterday thanks to a government report estimating Weibo users fell 9% in 2013.
- Maxwell (MXWL +8.5%) has been upgraded to Overweight by Piper. Q4 results are due on Feb. 20.
- Changyou (CYOU -1%) has been cut to Neutral by Credit Suisse.
- Harmonic (HLIT -12.8%) has been cut to Underperform ahead of its Jan. 28 Q4 report.
- Stamps.com (STMP +0.5%) has been started at Outperform by Northland.
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