SINA Management Discusses Q2 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

SINA (SINA)

Q2 2012 Earnings Call

August 15, 2012 9:00 pm ET

Executives

Lidan Feng

Guowei Chao - Chief Executive Officer, President and Director

Yu Herman - Chief Financial Officer and Principal Accounting Officer

Analysts

Richard W. Ji - Morgan Stanley, Research Division

Wallace Cheung - Crédit Suisse AG, Research Division

Alicia Yap - Barclays Capital, Research Division

Jiong Shao - Macquarie Research

Ravi Sarathy - Citigroup Inc, Research Division

Tian X. Hou - T.H. Capital, LLC

Eddie Leung - BofA Merrill Lynch, Research Division

Yu Jin - China International Capital Corporation Limited, Research Division

Presentation

Operator

Good day, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to SINA Corporation's Second Quarter 2012 Earnings Conference Call. [Operator Instructions] I would now like to turn the presentation over to your host for today's conference, Ms. Cynthia [ph] Feng, Investor Relations Associate. Please go ahead, ma'am.

Lidan Feng

Thank you. Good morning. Welcome to SINA's earnings release for the second quarter 2012. Joining me today, our President and CEO, Charles Chao; and our Chief Financial Officer, Herman Yu. This conference call is also being broadcast on the Internet and is available through the Investor Relations section of the SINA website.

Before the management presentation, I would like to read you the Safe Harbor statement in connection with today's conference call. During the course of this conference call, we may make forward-looking statements, statements that are not historical facts, including statements about our beliefs and expectations. Forward-looking statements involve inherent risks and uncertainty. A number of important factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statements. SINA assumes no obligation to update the forward-looking statements in this conference call and elsewhere. Further information regarding these and other risks is included in SINA's annual report on Form 20-F for the year ended December 31, 2011, and its other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Additionally, I'd like to remind you that our discussion today includes non-GAAP measures, which excludes stock-based compensation and certain other items. We use non-GAAP financial measures to gain a better understanding of the SINA comparative operating performance and future prospects. Our non-GAAP measures exclude certain expenses, gains and losses and other items that are not expected to result in future cash payments or that are nonrecurring in nature or may not be indicative of our core operating results and business outlook.

Please refer to our press release for more information about our non-GAAP measures. Following management's prepared remarks, we'll open the lines for a brief Q&A session.

With this, I would like to turn the call over to our President and CEO, Charles Chao.

Guowei Chao

Thank you, Lidan. And good morning, everyone. Welcome to SINA's earnings conference call for the second quarter of 2012.

The official results for SINA on an overall basis for the second quarter were mixed. On one hand, we saw quite strong traffic growth across all terminals and all major product lines, including Weibo, PC Internet portal and the mobile Internet portal in the month of June. On the other hand, the advertising market in China continued to be challenging due to the soft macroeconomic conditions in China. The advertising revenues grew by 12% year-over-year and by 31% quarter-over-quarter in the second quarter.

In the month of April, we launched Weibo display advertising systems for brand advertising. The new system incorporates social and interest graphs recommendation engine, which allows advertising to be more targeted and relevant. The initial response from our customers and advertising agencies has been encouraging. The advertising revenues from Weibo accounted for approximately 10% of our total advertising revenues in the second quarter.

We expect the advertising revenue contribution from Weibo will accelerate in the second half of the year, which will help our overall advertising growth rate as compared to the market.

As social media advertising is relatively new in China, it will take some time to educate the market. And in the meanwhile, we will need time to fine-tune the recommendation engine as user data accumulates. In addition to Weibo, online video advertising also contributed to the growth of advertising revenues this quarter, as revenues from online video grew by 126% in the second quarter, as compared to the same period last year.

As we entered into the third quarter, the advertising market continued to be soft. But with the help of London Olympic Games, as well as the more adoption of Weibo advertising, we expect that our advertising revenue growth will accelerate in the third quarter.

During the second quarter, we are pleased to see that the user base and the user activities for Weibo have all experienced strong growth, despite tightened regulatory environment. The total number of registered accounts for Weibo reached 368 million at end of June, up 13.6% from 324 million at the end of March. More importantly, the average number of daily active users, or DAU, grew by 21% from the month of March to the month of June and reached 26 -- reached 36.5 million. The average number of daily active users as a percentage for the registered account increased to 10% in the month of June, as compared to 9% in the month of March, a strong indication of increased user activeness for Weibo platform. Among the daily active users, 69% used the mobile terminals to access the Weibo in the month of June, as compared to 64% in the month of March.

While the overall market sentiment was still soft when we entered the second quarter, it is slightly better than we experienced in the first quarter. The time spent per active user per day increased slightly but remained at approximately one hour for the month of June for Weibo. During the London Olympic Games, Weibo played a prominent role in news reporting, content distribution, as well as user participation for Olympic-related topics and events.

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