Oct. 22, 2013, 3:54 PM
- After opening higher in sympathy with Netflix, high-flying U.S. and Chinese Internet stocks are closing lower in sympathy with the streaming giant, which is down 8.2% after trading up over 10% AH yesterday in response to its Q3 numbers.
- In addition to Groupon, which has been stung by an ITG Research note, U.S. decliners include Facebook (FB -1.9%), LinkedIn (LNKD -1.7%), Yelp (YELP -2.3%), Zillow (Z -2.5%), and Trulia (TRLA -1%).
- Chinese decliners include Baidu (BIDU -1.6%), Sina (SINA -2.9%), Qihoo (QIHU -3%), Ctrip (CTRP -2.1%), and NQ Mobile (NQ -3.5%).
- Chinese e-commerce plays Vipshop (VIPS -3.7%) and LightInTheBox (LITB -4.9%) are also lower. In addition to the general selloff, they appear to be getting hurt by Dangdang's Q3 warning.
Oct. 18, 2013, 10:29 AM
- "We believe that Google's (GOOG +12.8%) ability to monetize experiences through engagement-based services will allow it to disrupt many hardware and software layers over time," writes Evercore's Ken Sena, exemplifying the glowing analyst commentary that has followed Google's Q3 beat.
- Sena, who is raising his PT to $1,100, sees Google's services investments pressuring near-term margins, but also creating "a stronger platform ecosystem in which more collected data, better predictive analytics, and an increased amount of screen connectivity will lead to better overall search economics in addition to new opportunities."
- Needham and Jefferies have raised their PTs to $1,150, and Deutsche has raised its target to $1,220. YouTube's mobile growth, strong paid click volumes, and the potential for Enhanced Campaigns to lift search ad sales (after doing less damage than expected in Q3) are all mentioned as reasons to stay bullish.
- U.S. Internet peers continue to rally in sympathy: FB +4.1%. LNKD +3.7%. YELP +7.8%. AMZN +3.3%. Z +3.9%. TRLA +4.8%. ZNGA +2.8%.
- Foreign Internet names are also moving higher: BIDU +5%. YOKU +6.9%. SINA +3.7%. RENN +4.4%. QIHU +4.9%. DANG +5.9%. YNDX +4%. SIFY +3.4%.
- Google's Q3 results, details, CC remarks, transcript
Oct. 8, 2013, 11:48 AM
- With the government shutdown having reached day 8, many U.S. and Chinese Internet stocks that have seen giant 2013 gains (often with the help of momentum traders and/or short squeezes) are falling sharply.
- U.S. decliners include Facebook (FB -5.2%), Yahoo (YHOO -5.2%), Netflix (NFLX -4.7%), LinkedIn (LNKD -7%), Zillow (Z -5.3%), Trulia (TRLA -7.5%), Yelp (YELP -9.3%), Groupon (GRPN -4.9%), and Web.com (WWWW -10.2%).
- Chinese decliners include Baidu (BIDU -6.2%), Sina (SINA -7.5%), YY (YY -7.3%), Sohu (SOHU -5.1%), Renren (RENN -9.2%), Youku (YOKU -9.6%), Vipshop (VIPS -6.9%), and Dangdang (DANG -10.7%).
- A chart of the YTD performance of some key names speaks for itself.
Oct. 4, 2013, 12:24 PM
- Chinese Internet firms, already shown plenty of love by momentum traders this year, are rallying again following the release of Twitter's public S-1.
- Chinese microblogging leader Sina (SINA +4%) is among the gainers, and so are fellow social networking plays YY (YY +3.2%) and Renren (RENN +9.7%). But several other names are also taking part in the rally: BIDU +2%. NQ +2.7%. CYOU +6.9%. DANG +4.1%. SOHU +5.4%. SFUN +5.8%. AMAP +3.4%. QIHU +2%.
- Twitter mentioned in its S-1 78% of the 218.3M monthly active users it had at the end of Q2 were outside the U.S. But few of them are in China, where its services (like Facebook's) are generally blocked.
Sep. 24, 2013, 11:11 AM
- In what could be a trial balloon, the Chinese government plans to lift its ban on "politically sensitive" foreign websites in Shanghai's new free-trade zone, according to government sources talking to Hong Kong's South China Morning Post. Facebook (FB +4.7%), Twitter, and the New York Times are among the sites that will reportedly be made accessible.
- In addition, the government plans to allow foreign carriers to bid for licenses to provide Internet services in the free-trade zone. State-owned carriers China Mobile (CHL -0.8%), China Telecom (CHA -1.8%), and China Unicom (CHU -2.8%) have all reportedly been informed foreign companies will be able to compete with them in the area.
- For now, the zone only covers 29 sq. km. But sources state it could eventually cover Shanghai's entire Pudong business district (1,210 sq. km), home to the Shanghai Stock Exchange and arguably China's most vital commercial hub.
- The report comes shortly after Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg met with Chinese Web regulators. China already has a well-developed social networking scene, with Tencent (TCEHY.PK) and SINA claiming hundreds of millions of registered users for their respective platforms.
Sep. 13, 2013, 1:55 PM
- Though Twitter CEO Dick Costolo proclaimed earlier this year he expected the microblogging giant to have 400M monthly active users (MAUs) by the end of 2013 after hitting 200M in Dec. '12, sources tell AllThingsD Twitter currently has ~240M MAUs.
- That implies a 2013 growth rate of less than 4.5M MAUs/month, and suggests Twitter will end the year with ~260M, far below Costolo's target. For reference, Facebook (FB -0.9%) closed Q2 with 1.15B total MAUs (+3.6% Q/Q and +21% Y/Y) and 819M mobile MAUs. Om Malik previously reported Twitter is falling short of Costolo's target, but didn't give a specific number.
- Twitter employees tell AllThingsD their company "has a basic problem with churn — lots of people sample the service, and then stop using it." Twitter is trying to address the problem in part by adding Facebook-like features (such as a conversations view) it hopes will make the service less intimidating to new users. Ironically, this is happening while Facebook tries to become more like Twitter.
- Twitter shareholders GSV Capital (GSVC +14.5%) and the Firsthand Technology Value Fund (SVVC +6.5%) remain up sharply. However, Chinese microblogging leader Sina (SINA -2.4%) has given up yesterday's AH gains.
- More on Twitter's IPO: I, II, III
Sep. 12, 2013, 5:57 PM
Aug. 28, 2013, 6:17 PM
- SINA is launching Big Eye, a $16 mobile card/e-ticket reader that's shaped like Sina's Weibo logo, and plugs into smartphone audio jacks. It's being offered in partnership with Chense mobile/offline payment service provider Lakala.
- Big Eye bears more than a slight resemblance to Square's mobile card readers, which are now processing transactions at a $15B/year rate and have been widely embraced by small U.S. businesses (along with a few larger ones). Square has inspired a number of me-too offerings; they've generally seen limited success.
- The product works in tandem with Sina's Weibo online payments service. 18% Sina owner Alibaba, whose AliPay service towers over the Chinese online payments scene, could provide a big assist if it chooses.
Aug. 23, 2013, 11:47 AM
- Sina (SINA +0.2%) CEO Charles Chao: "We are going to launch a new social media product, complementary to Weibo, that focuses more on groups ... It has chat, news feed, pictures."
- Sina's clear goal is to challenge Tencent's (TCEHY.PK) WeChat mobile messaging/social networking platform, which continues to grow at a manic pace (monthly active users +21% Q/Q in Q2 to 236M). Sina admitted earlier this year WeChat's popularity has affected the amount of time spent on Weibo (daily active users +8% Q/Q in Q2 to 54M).
- Assuming existing Weibo users can log into the new platform with their Weibo usernames, Sina should have a healthy installed base to work with. The company should also be able to count on Alibaba for additional support (previous).
- But given the size of WeChat's base, disrupting Tencent's momentum will still be an uphill battle, as Chinese mobile carriers attempting to do the same can vouch.
Aug. 22, 2013, 1:16 PM
- Chinese tech names, already having a spring/summer to remember, are largely outperforming after China's August flash manufacturing PMI came in at 50.1, easily beating a consensus of 48.3.
- Baidu (BIDU +2%), Dangdang (DANG +6.3%), Vipshop (VIPS +3.8%), Youku (YOKU +3.1%), Sina (SINA +2.7%), and Renren (RENN +2.1%) are among the winners.
- However, LightInTheBox (LITB -7.9%), which crumbled on Tuesday due to a revenue miss and soft guidance, is adding to this week's losses, and making new post-IPO lows in the process.
Aug. 19, 2013, 1:48 PM
- Chinese Internet stocks are turning in an a very good day, aided by a rally in Shanghai that came in the wake of positive housing data.
- In addition to NetEase (boosted by a China Telecom deal) and real estate play SouFun (previous), winners include AutoNavi (AMAP +13.6%), Qihoo (QIHU +7.5%, adding to Friday's gains), YY (YY +5.7%), Vipshop (VIPS +9.1%), NQ Mobile (NQ +4.2% - SA contributor Treasure Hunter has another positive article), Sina (SINA +2.6% - still basking in its post-earnings glow) and Perfect World (PWRD +2.1%).
- The group has already been performing very well this summer, thanks to good earnings news, short-covering, momentum traders, and optimism the Chinese economy can see a soft landing.
Aug. 19, 2013, 12:12 PM
- China Telecom (CHA +1.4%) and NetEase (NTES +7.2%) are creating a JV that will launch YiChat, a "social" smartphone messaging app.
- The companies are clearly looking to challenge 800-lb. gorilla Tencent (TCEHY.PK) and its dominant WeChat mobile messaging/social networking platform. WeChat's monthly active users rose another 21% Q/Q in Q2 to 236M. Moreover, Tencent boasts average daily usage of 5.3x/user/day.
- WeChat's traffic-hogging ways have upset Chinese carriers. However, Tencent stated in May it has reached "preliminary solutions" (likely involving payments to the carriers) to address the issue.
- NetEase and China Telecom assert YiChat will be differentiated by its support for free text and voice messages (whether or not the recipient has installed YiChat), as well as by noise-reduction tech and the bundling of "free data promotional packages."
- China Mobile (CHL +0.5%) is also trying to challenge Tencent, courtesy of its Fetion messaging platform. Fetion claimed 99M active users earlier this year, but its growth has been notably slower than WeChat's. SINA's Weibo microblogging platform (now backed by Alibaba) also competes in this space.
Aug. 14, 2013, 9:56 AM
- Cree (CREE -20.3%) has been cut to Neutral by Northland, Susquehanna, and D.A. Davidson following its FQ4 revenue miss and soft FQ1 guidance.
- Millennial Media (MM -15.8%) has been cut to Neutral by Canaccord and Northland after posting a Q2 revenue miss, announcing it's buying rival Jumptap, and providing pro forma full-year guidance for the two companies.
- Sina (SINA +1%) has received a two-notch upgrade to Buy from Citi in response to Monday's Q2 beat and strong Q3 guidance.
- UMC (UMC -1%) has been cut to Sell by Goldman.
- Cincinnati Bell (CBB +1.6%) has been upgraded to Neutral by BofA.
- Proofpoint (PFPT +1.3%) has been started at Outperform by Imperial Capital.
Aug. 13, 2013, 9:11 AM
Aug. 12, 2013, 5:40 PM
- Sina (SINA) expects Q3 revenue of $176M-$180M, well above a $165.5M consensus.
- Ramping Weibo monetization helped fuel the Q2 beat. Weibo ad revenue +209% Y/Y to $30M, and Weibo value-added service (VAS) revenue (games, membership fees) +186% to $7.7M. Weibo now makes up 24% of total revenue.
- Total ad revenue +17% Y/Y to $120.6M (+20% in Q1), total non-ad revenue +35% to $32.2M (only +17% in Q1).
- Ad revenue is expected to surge to $151M-$153M in Q3, but non-ad revenue is expected to drop to $25M-$27M thanks to a $6M Q/Q decline in mobile VAS revenue.
- Gross margin was 54%, up from 51% in Q1 and 53% a year ago.
- Another reason for the EPS beat: opex only rose 13% Y/Y, less than rev. growth of 20% and representing a sharp slowdown in growth from recent quarters. Lower marketing spend was partly responsible.
- CC at 9PM ET. Q2 results, PR
Aug. 12, 2013, 5:03 PM
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