Weibo Corp: E-Commerce To Drive Revenue Growth

On Singles' Day event, e-commerce partners sold 800,000 movie tickets and 220,000 cars through Weibo

Weibo Corp ADR ( WB) released its fiscal third-quarter results last Thursday. China’s Twitter, as it is called, reported impressive numbers. The company generated $84 million in Q3 revenue, beating the Wall Street consensus of $80 million. Weibo’s had guided revenue between $79 million and $82 million. Net loss for the quarter stood at $1.4 million, narrower than $5.1 million in the corresponding quarter last year. Analysts were expecting a loss of $2.1 million.

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E-commerce made up 42% of Weibo’s Q3 ad revenue

The Beijing-based company issued strong guidance for the current quarter. The company expects Q4 revenue between $102 million and $105 million, a 45% growth at midpoint. Credit Suisse analyst Dick Wei said in a research note that e-commerce related ads were the main revenue drivers. However, the research firm expects Weibo to face strong negative seasonality in the first-quarter of 2015.

Weibo’s Q3 ad revenue surged 50% YoY to $65.4 million. Credit Suisse says that strong growth of TV+Weibo ads helped the company’s ad revenue. Further, the company generated $28 million in revenue from e-commerce partners, up 24% QoQ. E-commerce ads made up 42% of the company’s total ad revenue. Weibo joins hands with e-commerce companies in several verticals such as movies and auto.

Weibo’s mobile game revenue a cause of concern

On Singles’ Day event last week, an e-commerce partner sold more than 800,000 movie tickets through Weibo. Another partner that tied up with Weibo received more than 220,000 car orders through the social networking platform. Credit Suisse expects SME ads also to see strong growth in coming quarters. During Q3, SME ad revenue skyrocketed 263% YoY to $17.5 million.

Among value-added service VAS revenue drivers, gaming business saw significant growth. VAS revenue jumped 93% YoY in Q3 to $19 million. Weibo’s gaming revenue increased 51% YoY to $9 million. However, Credit Suisse’s channel checks revealed that the company’s mobile gaming revenue remains low. The research firm is skeptical of growth in mobile game due to fierce competition. Weibo went public in April this year.

Following strong guidance from Weibo, Credit Suisse raised its Q4 revenue guidance by 6.9% to $104 million. Weibo shares fell 1.37% to $18.03 at 11:37 AM EST on Wednesday.

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