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
Aug. 12, 2013, 12:10 AM
Aug. 11, 2013, 5:35 PM
Aug. 8, 2013, 9:44 AM
- Microsoft (MSFT +0.4%) has been upgraded to Overweight by Evercore.
- Groupon (GRPN +24.8%) had been upgraded to Neutral by UBS, and to Market Perform by Raymond James, following its Q2 revenue beat (I, II), buyback news, and CEO announcement.
- Sina (SINA +2.3%) has been upgraded to Buy by Maxim ahead of its Aug. 12 Q2 report.
- Fusion-io (FIO -22.8%) has been cut to a neutral rating by BofA, Mizuho, Monness Crespi, and Benchmark due to the light guidance provided with its mixed FQ4 results.
- Quad/Graphics (QUAD +3.5%) has been upgraded to Sector Perform by RBC following yesterday's Q2 report.
Aug. 1, 2013, 5:45 PM
- YY's Q3 guidance is for revenue of RMB430M-RMB440M ($70.1M-$71.8M), good for 88%-92% Y/Y growth and well above a consensus of $61.4M.
- Q2 music services (YY Music) revenue +189% Y/Y to $27.8M (42% of total) thanks to a 174% increase in paid users to 635K.
- Online game revenue +87% Y/Y to $24.8M. Paid users +61% to 440K, Q2 ARPU +16% to RMB346 ($56.72).
- Online ads +42% to $6.9M, other revenue (membership program) +149% to $7.1M.
- Opex doubled Y/Y to $22.4M thanks to higher R&D and G&A spend. But since gross profit rose 136% Y/Y on the back of 118% rev. growth, op. margin rose to 20.2% from 12.7% a year ago.
- Chinese social networking peers are up in sympathy. Renren (RENN) +2.8% AH after soaring 19.5% in regular trading in the absence of major news. Sina (SINA) +0.8% after rising 6.8% thanks to Alibaba's moves.
- Q2 results, PR
Aug. 1, 2013, 1:34 PM
- Three months after buying an 18% stake in Sina (SINA +5.4%), Alibaba has banned sellers on its very popular Taobao marketplace and Tmall e-commerce site from using Tencent's (TCEHY.PK) WeChat mobile IM platform, citing user complaints about WeChat messages from sellers.
- WeChat is seen as the biggest rival to Sina's Weibo microblogging platform. WeChat claimed 194M monthly active users as of May; Weibo's MAUs are around 50M. Sina recently admitted WeChat is affecting Weibo activity.
- While it bans WeChat, Alibaba plans to allow Taobao purchases to be directly made from Weibo. Additional efforts to integrate Weibo with Alibaba's sites are likely on the way.
- Alibaba and Tencent are turning into bitter rivals, as the former expands its social networking reach and the latter makes e-commerce forays.
Jul. 24, 2013, 10:01 PMChinese Internet stocks finished AH trading with solid gains thanks to Baidu's big Q2 beat and above-consensus Q3 guidance. Baidu mentioned in its report revenue/ad customer rose 11% Q/Q, and that mobile now accounts for over 10% of its sales. SINA +4.1%. SOHU +2.2%. RENN +4.3%. YOKU +3.6%. YY +3.1%. Rival QIHU +3.3%. | Comment!
Jul. 19, 2013, 2:43 PMSina (SINA +0.2%) enters the Chinese online banking market by launching WeiBank, a platform that allows Weibo users to make bank transfers, pay credit card bills, and manage expenses, among other things. WeiBank's arrival follows the launch of Sina's WeiboPay online payments platform, and comes amidst expectations the Alibaba partnership will yield plenty of new e-commerce opportunities. (Weibo daily deals) | Comment!
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