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.
Jan. 16, 2014, 11:59 AM
- Chinese government agency CNNIC estimates Sina's (SINA -3.9%) Weibo user base fell 9% in 2013 to 281M, thanks to tough competition from Tencent's (TCEHY) WeChat mobile messaging platform.
- Sina, which has admitted in the past WeChat's rapid growth is pressuring Weibo engagement, had 60.2M Weibo daily active users in Q3. WeChat had 271.9M monthly active users as of Q3 (not an apples-to-apples comparison), and has 600M+ registered accounts, including over 100M outside of China.
- Altogether, CNNIC estimates China had 617.6M Internet users at the end of 2013, and 500.1M mobile Web users.
Jan. 8, 2014, 11:54 AM
- Alibaba (ABABA), whose ambitions have been steadily expanding beyond e-commerce, plans to launch a mobile gaming platform for 3rd-party titles.
- The service will be aimed squarely at Chinese online/mobile gaming leader Tencent (TCEHY), and will give developers a hefty 70% cut. Alibaba also plans to integrate the service with its Laiwang messaging app (competes with Tencent's dominant WeChat) and the mobile app for its Taobao e-commerce platform.
- In addition to Tencent, Alibaba will be taking on a slew of other mobile game distributors, including NQ Mobile's (NQ +1.7%) FL Mobile unit.
- Chinese game developer Perfect World (PWRD +10.1%) has skyrocketed in morning trading. Peers Changyou (CYOU +4.1%) and NetEase (NTES +3.5%) are also up sharply.
- Also: Alibaba's Alipay online payments unit has struck a deal with Sina (SINA +1.5%) to allow Weibo users to make online and offline payments via Alipay. Sina investors have been expecting the company's partnership with Alibaba (bought an 18% stake last year) to yield service launches that would improve Weibo monetization.
Dec. 27, 2013, 1:54 PM
- With high-flying Twitter (downgraded by Macquarie) leading the way, several Internet momentum plays that have delivered big 2013 gains are seeing some year-end profit-taking.
- In addition to Twitter, notable decliners include Netflix (NFLX -2.8%), Pandora (P -3.6%), Trulia (TRLA -2.7%), Zillow (Z -2.4%), and Groupon (GRPN -1.9%).
- On the other hand, many Chinese Internet names are adding to this year's gains. In addition to Baidu (buying Perfect World's e-book unit) and Ctrip (received a bullish T.H. Capital note), gainers include Sina (SINA +4.9%), Dangdang (DANG +4.8%), YY (YY +4%), 58.com (WUBA +3%), and NetEase (NTES +3.4%). An overnight Shanghai rally is likely helping.
Dec. 10, 2013, 1:34 PM
- Though still generally below their mid-October highs, Internet momentum stocks are turning in what might be their best performance during a rally that has now lasted two weeks. While Twitter (previous) is the star of the show, Facebook (FB +3.5%), Yelp (YELP +1.8%), Groupon (GRPN +4.7%), Netflix (NFLX +2.1%), LinkedIn (LNKD +1.4%), and Pandora (P +3.4%) aren't getting left out.
- Several Chinese Internet names are also higher. In addition to Baidu, which is benefiting from a bullish Pac Crest note, Sina (SINA +6%), Ctrip (CTRP +6.1%), Qunar (QUNR +6.3%), and Youku (YOKU +3.9%) are staring at big gains.
- Morgan Stanley's Scott Devitt is out with another bullish note on Groupon. Devitt notes an MS survey of 358 SMBs found only 26% of merchants have run Groupon deals in the last 12 months, something he thinks suggests there's "a long run way of merchants" that can still be signed up.
- He also sees room for Groupon to improve its customer targeting - the company still isn't able to track which deals were shown to customers, or were clicked on, in prior e-mails - and expects its new site (allows deals to be browsed without an e-mail address being given) and a revamped e-mail layout to boost growth.
Dec. 6, 2013, 2:49 PM
- Marbridge Consulting reports Sina (SINA -2.6%) is partnering with Chinese asset management firms E Fund Management and China Southern Asset Management to launch " a series of 3 limited investment currency-based fund products with a targeted 10% annual return."
- If the report pans out, Sina would be far from alone among Chinese Web giants in showing an interest in financial services. Baidu recently launched an online wealth management platform aiming to give depositors an 8% annual return, and Alibaba (owns 18% of Sina) and Tencent have also launched financial services products.
- The companies are looking to take share from China's giant state-owned banks, and to profit from the Middle Kingdom's sky-high household savings rate.
Nov. 15, 2013, 7:57 AM
- SINA is offering $700M in convertible senior notes due 2018. The notes carry an interest rate of just 1%, and sport a conversion price of $123.70 (45% above yesterday's close). A $100M overallotment option is attached. If fully converted, the offering would increase Sina's diluted share count by 8% from current levels. (PR)
- The Chinese microblogging leader will use $100M of the proceeds to buy back shares. The rest will be used for "general corporate purposes, including working capital needs and potential acquisition of complementary businesses."
- Given Sina has no need for the money to finance its operations - thanks in part to the Alibaba investment, Sina ended Q3 with over $1.21B in cash/investments, and no debt - there's a good chance some of it will be directed towards investments/acquisitions.
- Sina is far from alone among high-flying Chinese Internet companies in raising convertible debt.
Nov. 13, 2013, 9:08 AM
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