Sina Stock Falls Today After Meeting with Cyberspace Administration of China

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Chinese online media company Sina Corp.  (SINA) fell 6.82% to $34.95 in late morning trading Monday after it met with the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), according to Financial Times.

The Times reported Sunday that executives from Sina were summoned to a meeting with the CAC, which scolded the company for spreading "illegal information" and "violating morality," according to a statement from the CAC.

The administration accused Sina of not properly censoring user accounts, "engaging in media hype," and allowing the spread of "rumors", pornography, and "messages advocating heresies." The "heresies" in question refer to banned religious movements such as Falun Gong.

Law firm Pomerantz LLP is also investigating if Sina and some of its officers or directors violated Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates SINA CORP as a Hold with a ratings score of C. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate SINA CORP (SINA) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed - some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its compelling growth in net income, revenue growth and reasonable valuation levels. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the stock has had a generally disappointing performance in the past year."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has greatly exceeded that of the S&P 500, but is less than that of the Internet Software & Services industry average. The net income increased by 34.4% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $44.45 million to $59.75 million.
  • SINA's revenue growth trails the industry average of 18.9%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 7.2%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • Despite currently having a low debt-to-equity ratio of 0.37, it is higher than that of the industry average, inferring that management of debt levels may need to be evaluated further. Even though the debt-to-equity ratio shows mixed results, the company's quick ratio of 6.18 is very high and demonstrates very strong liquidity.
  • The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. When compared to other companies in the Internet Software & Services industry and the overall market, SINA CORP's return on equity is below that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • SINA's stock share price has done very poorly compared to where it was a year ago: Despite any rallies, the net result is that it is down by 33.14%, which is also worse that the performance of the S&P 500 Index. Investors have so far failed to pay much attention to the earnings improvements the company has managed to achieve over the last quarter. Turning toward the future, the fact that the stock has come down in price over the past year should not necessarily be interpreted as a negative; it could be one of the factors that may help make the stock attractive down the road. Right now, however, we believe that it is too soon to buy.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: SINA Ratings Report

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