Categories Earnings, Technology

Earnings preview: Users growth to drive Weibo Q4 results

Weibo Corporation (NASDAQ: WB) is scheduled to release its earnings results for the fourth quarter of 2018 on March 5 before the market opens. The results will be benefited by the net addition of users as well as the increase in advertising revenue due to the company’s ability in social marketing. The company’s stock is slowing recovering from the rough patch.

The social media giant has been popular for users who will be discussing either the hot issues or popular events due to the company’s continuous efforts to enhance its operations and distribution. This is expected to make Weibo’s user scale to expand continuously for the fourth quarter.

Meanwhile, user growth has been challenged by the declining organic mobile internet user growth and the rising competition from the short video industry. The company has redefined its strategy for attracting users and promoting user engagement by utilizing its core capabilities in social and media areas.

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Analysts expect the Chinese microblogging giant to post earnings of $0.75 per share on revenue of $481.56 million for the fourth quarter. In comparison, during the previous year quarter, the company reported a profit of $0.64 per share on revenue of $377.44 million. Majority of the analysts recommended a “strong buy” or “buy” rating with an average price target of $69.53 per share.

During the third quarter, the company has upgraded its topic product by highlighting trends with hashtags and enhanced its trends distribution on other platforms such as Weibo’s WeChat Mini Program. The number of trends in the third quarter increased by triple-digit sequentially and top content creators post on trends climbed by double digits on a quarter-over-quarter basis.

For the third quarter, Weibo reported a 63% jump in earnings helped by higher revenue. Advertising and marketing revenues surged 48% while value-added service revenues grew 18%. Monthly active users saw a net addition of about 70 million users year over year and reached 446 million in September 2018. Mobile MAUs represented 93% of MAUs. About 30 million users were added year over year, with average daily active users hitting 195 million in September 2018.

Twitter posts upbeat Q4 results, stock falls on weak Q1 revenue

For the fourth quarter, the company had expected net revenues in the range of $480 million to $490 million, or an increase of 35% to 38% year-over-year on a constant currency basis. This forecast reflected the currency translation risks and assumed an average exchange rate of RMB 7.00 to $1.00.

Also read: Weibo’s third quarter 2018 earnings conference call transcript

The company has been planning to purchase a live broadcasting business given the current competitive landscape of live broadcasting. Weibo believes that the acquisition is planned to lift traffic and revenues to its platform. For full integration and optimization of the product, it is expected to take two quarters after the completion of the acquisition process. The company could share more details about the purchase during the earnings release.

Shares of Weibo opened higher on Thursday but changed course to the red territory. The stock has fallen over 44% in the past year while it has risen over 20% in the past three months.


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