Games: Alibaba's New Tie-Up, Tencent's Candy Crush
- We think an intrinsic value estimate is a vital step in any investment-decision process, regardless of the business model.
- Tencent's future growth opportunities are tremendous, and its ValueCreation rating is solid.
- We value shares just north of $70 each, implying modest upside.
Tencent Ties Up With Korean Gamer, Eyes Youku Tudou
After WhatsApp Buy, Facebook Faces Stiff Competition From Tencent's WeChat
- Facebook will face considerable competition from competitors in the East.
- WeChat's footprint is greater than that of WhatsApp.
- Even with FB's acquisition of WhatsApp, FB continues to lag in the message space.
Tencent Holdings: Emerging Market Stock Of The DayEmerging Money • Nov. 15, 2012
at MarketWatch.com (May 7, 2014)
at MarketWatch.com (May 5, 2014)
at MarketWatch.com (Mar 14, 2014)
at MarketWatch.com (Nov 13, 2013)
at MarketWatch.com (Nov 11, 2013)
Wed, Aug. 13, 12:38 PM
- Tencent (OTCPK:TCEHY) had Q2 revenue of RMB19.75B ($3.21B), +37% Y/Y and above an RMB19.2B consensus. Net income rose 59% to RMB5.84B ($948M), above an RMB5.51B consensus.
- WeChat monthly active users (MAUs) rose 11% Q/Q and 57% Y/Y to 438M. MAUs for Tencent's older QQ messaging/gaming platform totaled 829M, -2% Q/Q and +1% Y/Y. MAUs for the Qzone social networking platform totaled 645M, flat Q/Q and +3% Y/Y.
- 521M QQ MAUs and 497M Qzone MAUs are now respectively using "smart devices."
- Total value-added service (VAS) revenue rose 9% Q/Q and 46% Y/Y to RMB15.7B. Within the segment, online gaming revenue rose 7% Q/Q to RMB11.1B, thanks largely to mobile growth - Tencent recently disclosed it now has 600M+ mobile gaming users. PC gaming revenue was "broadly stable." Social networking revenue rose 15% Q/Q to RMB4.6B, thanks largely to mobile.
- Online ad revenue rose 59% Y/Y to RMB2.1B, aided by video/social ad growth. E-Commerce revenue fell 40% to RMB1.3B, thanks to the JD.com (JD +4.3%) partnership. JD shares are rallying.
- Gross margin rose to 62% from 54% a year ago, and op. margin to 40% from 32%. Tencent cautions mobile gaming revenue could be flat in 2H14, as the company focuses on optimizing the user experience.
Fri, Jun. 27, 9:57 AM
- Chinese messaging/gaming giant Tencent (TCEHY) is paying $736M to buy a 19.9% stake in local online classifieds leader 58.com (WUBA -1.4%).
- Tencent is paying the equivalent of $40/share for its stake - 23% below 58.com's current trading levels. 58.com will use some of the proceeds to buy back 27.6M shares ordinary shares (the equivalent of 13.8M ADS) from pre-IPO holders.
- 58.com's services will be integrated with Tencent's QQ and Weixin (WeChat) messaging platforms, which are nearly ubiquitous in China. Both companies have also "agreed to use each other as [their] preferred partner in local services."
- The investment is the latest in a string of major deals by Tencent meant to solidify its Web/mobile empire as it battles with Alibaba and Baidu on a variety of fronts. The latter two companies haven't been standing idly either.
- It looks like some investors knew in advance: 58.com's shares rose 13.8% yesterday ahead of the announcement.
Wed, May. 14, 2:19 PM
- Tencent (TCEHY +8.4%) trades higher after reporting better than expected Q1 earnings, as net income soared 60% Y/Y to 6.46B and easily beating the analyst consensus estimate of 4.04B yuan.
- Q1 revenues rose 36% Y/Y to 18.5B yuan; online gaming sales jumped 39%, contributing 56% of Tencent’s total revenue.
- Mobile gaming revenue is beginning to make a significant contribution to revenue, with sales soaring 200% Q/Q to 1.8B and representing 17% of Tencent’s total gaming sales, up from 7% last quarter.
- WeChat and QQ, the two messaging programs, claim 396M monthly active users, up 11.5% Q/Q, and the number of monthly active users for Tencent’s instant messaging service is 848M.
- Numbers like these no doubt will help feed the anticipation for Alibaba’s (ABABA) upcoming IPO.
Mon, Apr. 28, 10:17 AM
- Sohu (SOHU -4.8%) missed Q1 estimates and provided light Q2 guidance. Meanwhile, as part of a recent crackdown, the Chinese government has pulled The Big Bang Theory and other popular U.S. shows from sites such as Sohu.com, Youku.com (YOKU -4.4%), Baidu's (BIDU -5%) iQiyi, and Tencent Video (TCEHY -2.8%). Time observes The Big Bang Theory has produced 1.3B video views since launching on Sohu TV in '09.
- The news is overshadowing a $1.22B investment in Youku by Alibaba (ABABA) and an affiliated P-E firm, and a WSJ report stating Alibaba is forming a mobile search JV with leading mobile browser firm UCWeb (once targeted by Baidu).
- The deals are the latest in a long line of investments and partnerships struck by Alibaba, Tencent, and Baidu, as each firm tries to build a Web/mobile empire covering over a dozen valuable markets.
- Is Qihoo (QIHU -0.8%) next in line to make a deal? With a $21.6B market cap, the security app/browser/search provider and Baidu rival is the biggest Chinese Internet company to remain independent of the big-3. Qihoo was reported in January to be talking with Alibaba.
- Other decliners: NQ -6.5%. VIPS -5.2%. WB -4.2%. WBAI -3%. LONG -4.5%. QUNR -2.4%.
Wed, Apr. 16, 9:18 AM
- KING Digital is partnering with Chinese gaming/messaging giant Tencent (TCEHY) to bring Candy Crush Saga to the Middle Kingdom. The game will be distributed via both Tencent's QQ (PC messaging, 808M MAUs) and WeChat/Weixin (mobile messaging, 355M MAUs) platforms.
- Candy Crush was responsible for 93M of King's 128M average Q4 DAUs. But bookings and unique payers started to slip in Q4 after seeing meteoric growth over much of 2013.
- King is counting on newer titles such as Pet Rescue Saga and Farm Heroes Saga - they're promoted via Candy Crush and have moved up Facebook charts, but are nowhere are large right now - to help pick up the slack.
Wed, Mar. 26, 9:19 AM
- A source close to Youku (YOKU) tells Marbridge Consulting Tencent (TCEHY) has reached a tentative deal to buy a 20% stake in the Chinese online video platform for at least $300M in cash. Tencent would merge its own sizable online video business into Youku as part of the deal.
- Marbridge has a mixed track record with M&A rumors. Youku rallied last July on a rumor from a Chinese site regarding a Baidu stake purchase.
- Helping Marbridge's report appear plausible: Tencent has already spent nearly $400M this month to buy stakes in e-commerce firm JD.com and real estate site Leju, as it battles with Baidu and Alibaba for Chinese Web/mobile supremacy on a number of fronts.
Fri, Mar. 21, 9:01 AM
- E-House Holdings (EJ) is ahead 8.6% premarket after Tencent (TCEHY) pays $180M for 15% of E-House's online real estate services provider Leju Holdings. Tencent will add to its stake once Leju's proposed IPO takes place.
- The investment - expected to close by month's end - gives Leju a valuation of about $1.25B.
- Previous: Leju files for IPO and announces partnership with Tencent.
Mon, Mar. 10, 10:26 AM
- As rumored, Tencent (TCEHY) is buying a 15% stake in top Alibaba (ABABA) rival JD.com ahead of its IPO.
- Tencent is paying $214.7M in cash. The company is also transferring its QQ Wanggou and Paipai e-commerce platforms, and a minority stake in its Yixun marketplace.
- The assets, along with the massive scale of Tencent's QQ, Qzone, and WeChat messaging/gaming/social networking platforms, should give a boost to JD.com's traffic and marketing reach.
- JD.com, which (unlike Alibaba) depends heavily on direct e-commerce sales, filed for a $1.5B IPO in January. Alibaba took aim at Tencent last year by acquiring an 18% stake in Sina's Weibo microblogging platform (an indirect rival to WeChat).
- The Tencent/JD.com deal could also spell tougher competition for Vipshop (VIPS -4.4%) and Dangdang (DANG -4.9%), both of whom are joining other Chinese Internet stocks in seeing profit-taking.
Fri, Feb. 28, 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.
Thu, Feb. 27, 2:21 PM
- Sources tell Marbridge Consulting Alibaba (ABABA) is talking with Ctrip (CTRP +6.9%) about a possible investment.
- Alibaba took stakes in AutoNavi and Sina's Weibo microblogging platform last year. Marbridge's track record with investment/M&A rumors is mixed, but it has made some accurate calls in recent months.
- Ctrip has rallied above $55, and Chinese online travel rivals Qunar (QUNR +3.3%) and eLong (LONG +8.3%) are also posting sizable gains.
- Separately, the WSJ reports Chinese messaging/gaming giant Tencent (TCEHY) is looking to buy a stake in top Alibaba rival JD.com, which recently filed for a $1.5B IPO.
Mon, Feb. 24, 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.
Thu, Feb. 20, 1:28 PM
- TD Securities has doubled its estimated valuation for BBM to $800M following the Facebook/WhatsApp deal, and raised its BlackBerry (BBRY +5.5%) PT to $10.50 from $9.50.
- TD observes Facebook is paying $42/user for WhatsApp ($19B for 450M MAUs), and that assigning a similar multiple to BBM's 80M MAUs would make the business worth $3.36B ($6.41/share). But (while believing the deal highlights the value of messaging platforms) it doesn't think BBM and WhatsApp's valuations are "really comparable," given the latter's smaller scale.
- Wells Fargo notes another messaging platform, Viber, was recently sold at a price of $8.57/user ($900M for 105M MAUs), and is skeptical BlackBerry will try to sell BBM rather than monetize it.
- While BlackBerry rallies on account of the deal, WhatsApp rivals Tencent (TCEHY -3.2%) and Naver (NHNCF -8.1%) have sold off overseas on worries about tougher competition. Tencent's WeChat is the dominant mobile messaging platform in China, and Naver's Line rules the roost in Japan.
- Yesterday: BlackBerry rises AH due to Facebook/WhatsApp
Thu, Jan. 16, 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.
Wed, Jan. 8, 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.
Sep. 16, 2013, 11:44 AM
- Though Tencent's (TCEHY.PK, TCTZF.PK) acquisition of a 36.5% stake in Sohu's (SOHU +6.9%) Sogou search unit stands to make Sogou a greater threat to Baidu (BIDU +2%), given Tencent's plans to promote Sogou throughout its messaging/gaming empire, Baidu investors appear relieved Qihoo, which was in talks with Sohu, didn't end up reaching a deal.
- Research firm CNZZ recently estimated Qihoo now has over 15% of the Chinese search market, and the company itself recently pegged its share at 20%. Acquiring Sogou (estimated 8.8% share) would've given Qihoo additional scale and resources as it challenges Baidu's dominant position.
- Meanwhile, Tencent rose 2.5% in Hong Kong overnight, before the Sogou deal was announced. The company's market cap has topped $100B.
- Chinese Web giants Baidu, Tencent, and Alibaba are increasingly stepping on each others' toes. While Tencent and Alibaba have been relying on partnerships/minority investments to grow their reach, Baidu has been more interested in acquisitions and controlling stakes.
Sep. 16, 2013, 8:23 AM
- SOHU gains 6.4% premarket after announcing a strategic cooperation deal with Tencent (TCEHY.PK, TCTZF.PK), initiated by Tencent investing $448M and the two merging their search businesses. After the deal, Tencent will own 36.5% of Sogou's equity capital, which could further increase to 40% in the near future.
- Off 5% premarket is Qihoo (QIHU) which had been speculated as the buyer of Sohu's Sogou search unit.
- Press release.
- Conference call to discuss the transaction begins at 8:30 ET.
TCEHY vs. ETF Alternatives
Other News & PR