Mon, Feb. 9, 10:34 AM
- Though SOHU beat Q4 estimates, it's guiding for Q1 revenue of $425M-$440M and EPS of -$0.95 to -$1.05, below a consensus of $445.1M and -$0.72.
- Subsidiary Chanyou (NASDAQ:CYOU), which posted a revenue beat and an EPS miss, is guiding for revenue of $195M-$200M and EPS of $0.64-$0.68; the former is below a $201M consensus, and the latter above a $0.24 consensus.
- Changyou has also announced the appointment of Sohu exec Jasmine Zhou as its permanent CFO. Zhou takes over from Rucia Ren, who had been serving as interim CFO.
- Sohu's online game revenue (stems from Changyou) rose 7% Y/Y in Q4 to $184M. Sogou search revenue rose 70% to $119M (share gains), and brand ad revenue 20% to $148M. Changyou's average monthly active accounts and quarterly active paying accounts respectively rose 81% and 59% to 13.9M and 2.7M.
- Sohu's gross margin was 59%, up from Q3's 58% but down from 64% a year ago. Operating expenses rose 16% Y/Y to $288M (compares with 24% revenue growth), with Changyou's opex rising 14% to $149.4M.
- Sohu: Q4 results, PR. Changyou: Q4 results, PR.
Mon, Feb. 9, 6:00 AM
Sun, Feb. 8, 5:30 PM
Nov. 3, 2014, 9:15 AM
- Along with its Q3 report, Changyou (NASDAQ:CYOU) announces CEO Tao Wang has resigned for "personal reasons." SOHU CFO Carol Yu and Changoyu president Dewen Chen will serve as co-CEOs.
- The news comes as both Changyou and parent Sohu post mixed Q3 results (EPS beats and revenue misses) and offer light Q4 sales guidance. Sohu expects Q4 revenue of $442M-$462M, mostly below a $461.1M consensus. Changyou expects Q4 revenue of $188M-$198M, below a $199.2M consensus.
- Changyou's Q3 revenue (42% of Sohu's revenue) fell 1% Y/Y due to a 7% drop in online game revenue to $150.3M; Changyou faces off against Tencent, Perfect World, Shanda, and a slew of other firms in a very competitive Chinese online gaming market.
- Average monthly active accounts for Changyou's games amounted to 29M, +21% Q/Q and -6% Y/Y. Average monthly accounts for platform channels totaled 275M, +9% Q/Q and +178% Y/Y.
- Sohu's Sogou search unit continued to perform well: Sales rose 17% Q/Q and 86% Y/Y to $106M. Meanwhile, Sohu's brand ad sales grew 12% Q/Q and 19% Y/Y to $106M.
- Sohu's gross margin was 58%, flat Q/Q and down from 66% a year ago. Opex was $275M, +3% Q/Q and +47% Y/Y.
- Sohu: Q3 results, PR. Changyou: Q3 results, PR.
Nov. 3, 2014, 5:50 AM
Nov. 2, 2014, 5:30 PM
Jul. 28, 2014, 2:51 PM
- Sohu (SOHU +1%) expects Q3 revenue of $427M-$442M and EPS of -$0.75 to -$0.85 vs. a consensus of $451.4M and -$0.97. Subsidiary Changyou (CYOU +0.9%) expects Q3 revenue of $186M-$192M and EPS of -$0.11 to $0.00 vs. a consensus of $200.1M and -$0.04.
- While respectively up 275% and 86% Y/Y, Changyou's sales/marketing and R&D spend fell 14% and 30% Q/Q in Q2 to $69.4M and $49M. That helped both Changyou and Sohu beat EPS estimates in spite of revenue misses. Sohu's total opex fell 8% Q/Q and rose 67% Y/Y to $267M.
- Changyou notes it "scaled back its advertising and promotion of its PC-based and mobile-based software applications" in Q2. The R&D spend decline is attributed to lower expenses related to employee incentive plans.
- Each company saw declining gross margins: Changyou's GM fell to 76% from 78% in Q1 and 83% a year ago, and Sohu's fell to 58% from 62% in Q1 and 66% a year ago. In addition to Changyou, Sohu's GM was dinged by lower advertising margins caused by higher content/bandwidth costs.
- While Changyou's gaming revenue fell 9% Y/Y to $154M, Sohu's search/other revenue grew 84% Y/Y to $85M, and its brand ad revenue grew 33% Y/Y to $133M.
- Revenue related to the Sogou search engine (largely search/other) rose 30% Q/Q and 82% Y/Y to $91M. Average monthly active accounts for Changyou's games fell 14% Q/Q and 33% Y/Y to 24M. Changyou's platform channel accounts grew 5% Q/Q and 196% Y/Y to 252M.
- Q2 results: Sohu, Changyou
Jul. 28, 2014, 2:39 AM
Jul. 27, 2014, 5:30 PM
Jul. 25, 2014, 5:32 PM
- Goldman has raised its 2014-2016 Baidu (BIDU +10.9%) EPS estimates by 17%-23% following its sizable Q2 EPS beat and above-consensus Q3 guidance, and hiked its target by $35 to $260. BofA/Merrill, Deutsche, and Piper have also raised their Baidu PTs.
- Goldman was pleased with several datapoints provided in the Q2 report and CC (transcript). Among them: 1) Baidu topped 500M mobile search monthly active users (MAUs) in June. 2) Maps MAUs have passed 200M. 3) Baidu's app distribution platforms (led by 91 Wireless) averaged 130M downloads/day in Q2. 4) The Nuomi daily deals unit (acquired from Renren) has seen its user base double since Q4.
- BofA/Merrill observes Baidu's aggressive spending growth is now being fueled more by hiring than by marketing spend, something it expects will translate into future leverage. Marketing spend fell to 11.5% of revenue from 14.1% in Q1, while R&D grew to 14.6% from 13.6%.
- Baidu made fresh highs today, and provided a lift to rivals Qihoo (QIHU +3.7%) and Sohu (SOHU +2.2%) along the way.
Apr. 28, 2014, 8:58 AM
- SOHU expects Q2 revenue of $397M-$411M and EPS of $1.25-$1.35. The former's $404M midpoint is unfavorable to a $409.1M consensus, and the latter is well below a -$0.62 consensus. Subsidiary Changyou (CYOU) expects Q2 revenue of $182M-$188M and EPS of -$0.26 to -$0.38, below a consensus of $191.4M and $0.08. The companies also offered light guidance three months ago.
- Pressuring Sohu's Q1 EPS: Opex rose 17% Q/Q and 122% Y/Y to $295M, thanks largely to Changyou's marketing/promotional spend and new employee incentive plans. Like peers, Changyou is spending aggressively to hold its ground in a fiercely competitive Chinese gaming market.
- Also taking a toll: Sohu's gross margin fell 200 bps Q/Q and 400 bps Y/Y to 62%, due in part to higher amortization costs for licensed video content.
- Brand ad sales rose 38% Y/Y in Q1 to $111M, after growing 50% in Q4. Thanks in part to the acquisition of Tencent's Soso search unit, search revenue rose 78% to $64M; mobile search traffic rose 24% Q/Q, and PC traffic "edged up."
- Online game revenue (via Changyou) fell 2% Y/Y to $163M, after growing 9% in Q4. Changyou's gaming average monthly accounts totaled 28M, +12% Q/Q but -26% Y/Y due to declines for TLBB, Wartune, and DDTank. Changyou's platform channel accounts (video site, browser, etc.) rose 60% Q/Q and 182% Y/Y to 239M.
- Q1 results: Sohu, Changyou. PRs: Sohu, Changyou.
Apr. 28, 2014, 5:53 AM
Apr. 27, 2014, 5:30 PM
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
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. 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.
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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