Apr. 24, 2014, 4:50 PM
- Baidu (BIDU) expects Q2 revenue of RMB11.82B-RMB-12.11B ($1.901B-$1.948B), above a consensus of RMB11.55B.
- Revenue growth accelerated to 59.1% in Q1 from 50.4% in Q4. Online ad customers fell 1.1% Q/Q to 446K after falling 2.8% in Q4, but revenue per ad customer remained steady Q/Q and rose 44.1% Y/Y to RMB20.9K ($3,362).
- As promised, Baidu continues to invest aggressively: SG&A spend soared 136.9% Y/Y to $323.2M, thanks in large to mobile promotional efforts. R&D spend rose 57.5% to $205.4M.
- Traffic acquisition costs rose to 12.4% of revenue from 12.3% in Q4 and 10.2% a year ago. Content costs (fueled by online video licensing) rose to 4.1% of revenue from 3.8% in Q4 and 1.6% a year ago.
- Up in sympathy: SINA +1.6%. SOHU +1%. QIHU +2.6%. YY +1.1%. WB +1.5%. YOKU +1.7%.
- Q1 results, PR
Mar. 26, 2014, 4:04 PM
- Aided by King's poor debut and general momentum stock weakness, U.S. and Chinese Internet stocks have fallen hard for the second time this week.
- In addition to King rival Zynga and newly-minted VR headset maker Facebook, Twitter (TWTR -7.1%) is among the leading U.S. decliners. Exactly 3 months after reaching a peak of $74.73, shares have fallen below their post-IPO opening price of $45.10. They remain well above their $26 IPO price.
- Other U.S. decliners: P -5.2%. Z -6.2%. TRLA -7%. GSVC -4.8%. SVVC -4.1%.
- Many Chinese Internet stocks have also been hit hard. Sungy Mobile (GOMO -23.2%), which posted a Q4 beat and in-line guidance yesterday afternoon, is the biggest decliner. Others: QIHU -8%. WUBA -9.5%. MOBI -10.6%. QUNR -7.8%. NQ -7%. YOD -7.6%. WBAI -7.5%. SOHU -7%. ATHM -6.5%. SFUN -6.3%.
- Internet/social media ETFs: FDN, PNQI, SOCL
Mar. 3, 2014, 10:51 AM
- Sohu (SOHU +0.1%) COO/co-president Belinda Wang is resigning "for personal reasons," effective March 31. She's expected to stay with the company in a consulting role through year's end. No successor has been named. (PR)
- Sohu notes Wang helped develop new ad/business concepts, and also presided over the company's mobile product development. A source tells BrightWire other Sohu execs will now be responsible for the company's ad sales and website.
- Separately, Marbridge Consulting reports Sohu is planning to spin off real estate site Focus.cn and auto news site Auto.sohu.com via IPOs. Marbridge reported last week Sohu and Tencent have talked about merging their video ops.
- Gaming unit Chanyou (CYOU +4.7%), spun off by Sohu in a 2009 IPO, is rallying today.
Feb. 28, 2014, 2:16 PM
- Over the last 48 hours, Baidu, Dangdang, Youku, and 58.com have all posted Q4 beats and provided strong Q1 guidance. The numbers are giving a lift to a slew of Chinese Internet stocks.
- Notable gainers: SOHU +6.5%. PWRD +13.2%. VIPS +4.3%. YY +2.2%. RENN +3.8%. GOMO +5.5%.
- In Sohu's case, the rumor mill might also be helping out. A source tells Marbridge Consulting Sohu CEO Charles Zhang and Tencent (TCEHY +1.2%) CEO Pony Ma have talked about merging their companies' online video units. Both Sohu and Tencent trail market leaders Youku and Baidu in China's burgeoning online video market.
- Dangdang (DANG +8.6%) is adding to yesterday's big post-earnings gains after Oppenheimer hiked its PT to $15. The firm likes Dangdang's improved efficiency and partnerships with e-commerce rivals (inc. Alibaba's Tmall), and the fact mobile accounted for 13% of Q4 orders.
Feb. 24, 2014, 10:04 AM| Comment!
Feb. 18, 2014, 4:03 PM
- On a good day for many tech momentum plays, solar and Chinese Internet stocks led the way.
- Solar names could be benefiting from Chinese government remarks suggesting Beijing remains open to trade talks to end its ongoing solar import dispute with the U.S. The comments come after the ITC added Chinese solar panels made with Taiwanese cells to its list of Chinese panels covered by import duties.
- Also: SunEdison (SUNE +6.6%) has filed for an IPO for its solar project business, a move that could entice other companies with major solar project ops to do the same.
- Solar gainers: FSLR +6.9%. SCTY +8%. JASO +12.6%. DQ +9.2%. CSUN +8.1%. YGE +5.5%. JKS +5.3%.
- Chinese Web gainers: CTRP +11.5%. CCIH +16.8%. RENN +11%. YOKU +6.1%. QIHU +6.9%. WUBA +10.6%. WBAI +7.9%. GOMO +9.1%. SOHU +5.6%.
- Solar ETFs: KWT, TAN
Feb. 11, 2014, 9:49 AM
- Alcatel-Lucent (ALU -3.7%) has been cut to Equal Weight by Morgan Stanley four days after rallying in response to its Q4 report.
- CenturyLink (CTL +2.2%) has been upgraded to Outperform by Macquarie ahead of tomorrow's Q4 report.
- Sohu (SOHU -4.8%) has been cut to Underweight by Morgan Stanley a day after the company and subsidiary Changyou posted mixed Q4 results and offered weak Q1 guidance.
- Finisar (FNSR +3.9%) has been upgraded to Buy by Jefferies. Rivals JDS Uniphase and Oclaro have delivered market-pleasing earnings reports in recent weeks.
- Allscripts (MDRX +2.3%) has been upgraded to Buy by Maxim. Q4 results are due on Feb. 20.
- Xilinx (XLNX +1.6%) has been started at Buy by MKM.
Feb. 10, 2014, 10:25 AM
- For the second straight quarter (previous), Sohu (SOHU -3.6%) and subsidiary Changyou (CYOU -12.5%) are falling after posting mixed results and issuing light guidance.
- Sohu expects Q1 revenue of $355M-$367M and EPS of -$1.10 to -$1.20, below a consensus of $378.6M and breakeven. Changyou expects Q1 revenue of $174M-$180M and EPS of -$0.30 to -$0.42, below a consensus of $198.8M and $1.00.
- Along with its Q4 report, Changyou has announced CFO Alex Ho is leaving to "start his own business." Finance director Erin Sheng will serve as interim CFO while the game developer searches for a permanent replacement.
- Changyou, responsible for over half of Sohu's Q4 revenue, attributes its guidance to a revenue drop for flagship title TLBB, seasonal ad weakness, and bigger marketing and personnel investments. Changyou also says it's implementing an employee profit-sharing plan tied to specific projects.
- Though its revenue rose 9% Y/Y, Changyou's monthly active accounts fell 19% Q/Q and 34% Y/Y to 25M, thanks to declining accounts for TLBB and DDTank. Platform channel accounts rose 51% Q/Q and 93% Y/Y to 149M.
- Changyou's opex soared 82% Q/Q and 156% Y/Y. Gross margin was 82%, -200 bps Q/Q and Y/Y.
- Sohu's Sogou search revenue rose 23% Q/Q and 72% Y/Y to $70M. Brand ad sales fell 1% Q/Q but rose 50% Y/Y to $123M.
- Sohu's opex rose 78% Y/Y, well above rev. growth of 29%. Gross margin fell 200 bps Q/Q and 500 bps Y/Y to 64%.
- Q4 results: Sohu, Changyou. PRs: Sohu, Changyou.
Feb. 10, 2014, 9:11 AM
Feb. 10, 2014, 5:50 AM
Feb. 10, 2014, 12:05 AM
Feb. 9, 2014, 5:30 PM
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. 2, 2014, 10:44 AM
- Saturday Night Live (CMCSA) has made its debut on Chinese video site Sohu.com (SOHU +0.5%).
- The development marks another important step in attempting to spur more Chinese audiences to watch content through legitimate channels, instead of through piracy.
- What to watch: If significant progress is continued to be made in China with copyright protection and government interference is held in check, the market for broadcasters (DIS, AMCX, VIAB, FOXA, CBS) could explode as younger viewers in China lap up quality U.S.-produced shows.
- "It's fashionable to be a fan of American culture -- they [Chinese viewers] feel dignified, a person with class," notes Sohu.com CEO Charles Zhang on the trend.
Dec. 10, 2013, 12:49 PM
- Pac Crest (Outperform) says its Chinese checks indicate Baidu's (BIDU +3.9%) Q4 trends are stable, at the company's growth rate can match that of the Chinese search market going forward.
- Though shares have risen sharply this year thanks to improved ad monetization (particularly on mobile) and a general rally in Chinese Internet stocks, concerns about search share losses to Qihoo (QIHU +1.4%) and (to a lesser extent) Sohu's (SOHU +2%) Sogou unit have persisted.
- Research firm CNZZ estimates Baidu had a 61.7% Chinese search share in October, down from 73.5% a year earlier. Over the same time, Qihoo's share surged to 21.4% from 9.8%, and Sogou's rose to 10.5% from 7.5%.
SOHU vs. ETF Alternatives
Sohu.com Incis a Chinese online media, search, gaming, community and mobile service groupproviding comprehensive online products and services on PCs and mobile devices in the People's Republic of China.
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