Tencent, the Biggest Company You've Never Heard of, Continues to Fire on All Cylinders

Chinese internet giant Tencent  (TCEHY)  continues to fire on all cylinders. 

On Wednesday it reported third-quarter revenue growth of 52% and earnings growth of 40% year over year as its social advertising business and mobile game divisions continued to grow rapidly.

Tencent Chairman and CEO Ma Huateng said its online payment and cloud-based services also saw significant progress in adoption and usage during the third quarter.

Shenzhen-based Tencent is Asia's largest internet company and is best known for China's one-stop mobile communications and commerce platform WeChat. Like fellow Chinese giant Alibaba (BABA) , Tencent looks beyond its definition of an internet company and constantly tries to expand by investing in cloud computing technology, online finance and video streaming.

In an effort to tap into the purchasing power of its 846 million monthly active users on WeChat, the company in 2014 introduced a mobile wallet function called WeChat Pay, which can be used for a variety of online and offline transactions. These include game subscriptions, movie tickets and utilities bills, as well as virtual red envelopes stuffed with electronic cash for friends and family to exchange on Chinese New Year, a big tradition in China.

WeChat Pay, along with Apple (AAPL) 's Apple Pay and Samsung's (SSNLF) Samsung Pay, have become strong rivals to China's biggest mobile electronic payment system, Alipay, a division of Alibaba.

Even as Tencent grows its revenues from WeChat, 45% of its third-quarter revenue still came from online games. The company, also the world's largest game publisher by revenue, in October completed an $8.6 billion deal to purchase a majority stake in Finland-based mobile game development company Supercell Oy. Supercell Oy makes some of the world's most popular and highest-grossing mobile games such as "Clash of Clans" and "Clash Royale."

According to iResearch, China's online gaming market has been rising steadily and is expected to surpass 200 billion RMB ($29 billion USD) in 2017. Tencent and competitor NetEase (NTES)  have two of the biggest shares of this market. Analysts believe that Tencent stands to benefit from the acquisition of Supercell Oy, which will help with game product quality and users' playing experience.

While Facebook (FB) , the world's largest social network platform, gets almost all of its revenue from online advertising, Tencent saw just 19% of its revenue coming from ads. To diversify its advertising opportunities, the company has introduced a full-screen and instantaneous loading ad format, as well as display ads on the app's timeline page, a function similar to Facebook and Instagram's sponsored posts.

Tencent's third-quarter financial results were largely in line with analysts' estimates but it is the company's broader ambitions that gives analysts a positive long-term outlook. Bloomberg reported last week that the internet giant plans to invest at least 2 billion RMB ($295 million USD) in Hollywood and Chinese films in the two years through 2017. 

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