SINA Corporation (NASDAQ:SINA) Q2 2019 Results Earnings Conference Call August 19, 2019 8:10 AM ET
Sandra Zhang - IRO and Senior Financial Analyst
Charles Chao - Chairman and CEO
Bonnie Zhang - CFO
- Sandra Zhang - IRO和高级财务分析师
- Charles Chao - 董事长兼首席执行官
- Bonnie Zhang - 首席财务官
Alicia Yap - Citigroup
Thomas Chong - Jefferies
- Alicia Yap - 花旗集团
- Thomas Chong - Jefferies
Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by and welcome to SINA's Earnings Call for Second Quarter 2019. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. [Operator Instructions]. I must advise you that this conference is being recorded today, Monday 19th of August 2019.
I'd now like to hand the conference over to your speaker host today, Ms. Sandra Zhang. Thank you. Please go ahead.
女士们，先生们，感谢您的支持，并欢迎新浪2019年第二季度的收益电话会议。此时，所有与会者都处于只听模式。 [操作员说明]。 我必须告诉你，这次会议今天正在记录，2019年8月19日星期一。
我现在想把会议交给你的发言人主持人Sandra Zhang女士。 谢谢。 请继续。
Thanks, operator, and hello, everyone. Welcome to SINA's earnings conference call for the second quarter 2019. Joining us today are Chairman and CEO, Charles Chao; and our CFO, Bonnie Zhang. This call is also being broadcast on Internet and is available through our IR website at ir.sina.com.
Now let me read through the Safe Harbor statement in connection with today's conference call. Our discussion today will contain forward-looking statements, which involve inherent risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from our current expectations. SINA assumes no obligation to update the forward-looking statement in this call and elsewhere.
For a detailed discussion for these risks and uncertainties, please refer to our latest annual report on Form 20-F and other filings with the SEC.
In addition, I would like to remind you that our discussion today include non-GAAP measures, which mainly exclude stock-based compensation and certain other items. We use non-GAAP measure to gain better understanding of SINA's comparative operating results and future prospects. Please refer to our earnings release for more detailed information on reconciliation of GAAP to non-GAAP measures.
During the call, we may discuss non-GAAP measures for Weibo, which applies the same methodology we use to calculate non-GAAP measure at the SINA Group level. After management’s remark, we will open the lines for a brief Q&A session.
With that, I would like to turn the call over to our CFO, Bonnie.
谢谢，操作员，大家好。欢迎来到新浪2019年第二季度的收益电话会议。今天加入我们的是董事长兼首席执行官Charles Chao;和我们的首席财务官，Bonnie Zhang。此电话也在互联网上播出，可通过我们的IR网站ir.sina.com获取。
Thank you, Sandra. And thank you all for joining our conference call today. Let me walk you through the operational and the financial highlights for the second quarter 2019.
Before the detailed financial review, I would like to remind you that my prepared remarks would be focused on non-GAAP results, and all the comparisons are on a year-over-year basis unless otherwise noted.
Let's start with an overview of the second quarter 2019 results. SINA's net revenues for the second quarter were $530.4 million, a decrease of 1% or increase of 5% on a constant currency basis. Operating income was $152.8 million, a decrease of 4% or an increase of 2% on a constant currency basis. Net income attributable to SINA was $54 million, and the diluted EPS was $0.76.
Now let's turn to key financial items. SINA's online advertising revenues for the second quarter were $433.6 million, a decrease of 5% or an increase of 1% on a constant currency basis, primarily due to a decline in portal advertising revenue and negative currency translation impact.
Let me start on Weibo’s business. Weibo's user growth reaccelerated meaningful compared with Q1 with MAU adding approximately 21 million user quarter-over-quarter, reached to 486 million in June and the average DAU adding approximately [8 million] users to 211 million. On top of the solid user growth, we are encouraged to see strong performance of the user engagement as well with daily [key] refreshment and video views booking double-digit growth, both annually and on sequential basis.
Leveraging a cluster of breaking news and the social events initially released on Weibo during the quarter with strong user performance also pointed to the traction of our revamped user pod, which empowers our communities to more easily discover and consume relevant trends and topics and engage in public conversations of their interest.
Our ongoing further improvement will continue to manifest itself in delivering organic user growth and further deepening user engagement, positioning us well to better capture wallet share of the digital ad budget when the overall market becomes less demand constrained.
On monetization, Weibo’s online advertising revenue for the second quarter was $370.7 million flat or up 6% on a constant currency basis. Weibo’s key accounts business grew 12% or 19% on a constant currency basis. The FMCG sector continued to drive the growth demonstrating resilience in the macro uncertainties in its advanced products in employing Weibo’s differentiated social marketing products to compound the campaign effect from product launch to brand loyalty and ultimately self conversion.
The entertainment sector surprised on the upside and delivered a solid performance despite the industry headwind, leveraging Weibo’s unique strength in [viral] distribution and a [KAL IP] marketing around these blockbuster shows. Weibo’s SME sector was down 6% or flat on a constant currency basis in the second quarter since the unfavorable supply and demand dynamics persisted.
We executed well in our initiative to tap into under-monetized industry and develop new clients, optimize sales channel and to drive better ROI for existing customers, which exhibited positive trajectory for the SME sector in this quarter. However, the growth of these new initiatives was offset by the average cutback from certain O2O categories and online gaming sector. We expect these efforts will take multiple quarters to compound to meaningful impact on the top-line.
Turning to portal, portal ad revenue for the second quarter were $63 million, a decrease of 25% or 21% on a constant currency basis resulted from ad budget cutback from SME customers.
Turning to non-advertising business, SINA’s non-ad revenues for the second quarter were $96.8 million, up 20% or 28% on a constant currency basis. The increase was mainly derived from the incremental revenue from SINA's fintech business and Weibo's live streaming platform.
Portal non-ad revenues for the second quarter were $41.1 million, up 47% or 56% on a constant currency basis. The increase of portal non-advertising revenue was driven by the strong performance of our micro loan facilitation business underpinned by robust growth in the loan origination volume delivered as team continues to optimize product mix, diversify funding source and enhance operating efficiencies.
Turning to gross margin. Gross margin for the second quarter was 77%, compared to 81% last year. Advertising gross margin was 81%, compared to 83% last year. Non-advertising gross margin for the second quarter was 60%, down from 68% last year, due to the relatively lower gross margin of the acquired live streaming business of Weibo.
Now moving on to operating expenses. In the second quarter operating expenses totaled $266 million, down 6%. Sales and marketing expenses decreased 20% year-over-year and took approximately 27% of SINA's net revenue, which was down 6 percent points from last year, largely attributable to disciplined channel marketing approach and constant efficiency achieved in marketing campaign.
Operating income decreased 4% to $152.8 million, representing an operating margin of 29% compared to 30% last year. Under GAAP measure, non-operating income for the second quarter was $19.7 million compared to an income of $1.2 million last year.
Non-operating income for the second quarter mainly included a $15.7 million net interest and other income, and $4.3 million net earnings from equity method investments, which is reported one quarter in arrears. Please refer to our earnings release for more detailed information about non-operating items for the same period last year.
Turning to tax, under GAAP measure income tax expenses were $46.7 million in the second quarter compared to $27.9 million last year, resulted from the deferred tax charges recognized from the fair value changes of our investments.
Net income attributable to SINA in the second quarter was $54 million or $0.76 diluted net income per share.
Now, let me turn to the balance sheet and cash flow items. As of June 30, 2019, SINA's cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments totaled $2 billion, compared to $2.3 billion as of December 31, 2018, mainly resulted from continued investment activities.
For the second quarter net cash provided by operating activities was $128.6 million, capital expenditures totaled $5 million, and depreciation and amortization expenses amounted to $11.6 million.
With that operator, please open up the call for questions.
Thank you. [Operator Instructions]. Your first question comes from the line of Alicia Yap from Citigroup. Please go ahead.
谢谢。 [操作员说明]。 你的第一个问题来自花旗集团的Alicia Yap。 请继续。
Hi. Good evening, Charles, Bonnie and Sandra. Thanks for taking my questions. I have a question related to your fintech business. It looks like SINA's fintech business continues to hold out relatively well, especially in the last two quarters. Could management share with us, how do you define SINA positioning in the business? And what type of medium and longer term target and initiatives that SINA hopes to achieve in the overall fintech business? Thank you.
你好。 晚上好，查尔斯，邦妮和桑德拉。 谢谢你回答我的问题。 我有一个与您的金融科技业务有关的问题。 看起来新浪的金融科技业务继续保持相对良好，特别是在过去两个季度。 管理层可以与我们分享，您如何定义新浪在业务中的定位？ 新浪希望在整个金融科技业务中实现什么类型的中期和长期目标和举措？ 谢谢。
Hi, Alicia, it’s Charles. Regarding the fintech business, and we have talked about that for many quarters, and we always believe that the vertical areas are the areas we can expand our business for portal, that’s SINA existing business. And so fintech is the area that we see a lot of potential. So we always believed this is area with a potential to grow. And we continue to believe that the company’s especially big Internet platform with the data, with the user traffic has the advantage in developing this business. So we have been doing this for a few years now. And I think we would continue to be investing in this area. And the numbers you have seen in the last couple of quarters speak for itself that we have been -- grown in this area pretty nicely. And of course we have been very cautious in terms of all the regulatory policies as well as license requirements for this particular area and also being very cautious in terms of developing business and that we do not actually grant credits, I mean to the users that are less qualified, basically. So we have very stringent rules in terms of [admitting] the borrowers from a platform. So, currently, we have pretty much limited ourselves in micro loan business and also limited our micro loan business to our existing users on platform so we have a better I mean track and understanding of the data and also their credit ratings. And so, that actually helps us grow our business as well as to actually contain our -- the bad debt rate to a pretty low percentage. So going forward probably we'll follow the same strategies in terms of our fintech business. And on the one hand we'll continue to grow this business and to make sure that we can enhance our ability to have the data mining and to actually have better quality customers going forward as well.
On the other hand, that we can also, I mean make sure that we will -- actually whatever we do, we'll follow the regulatory policies and these are the two areas that we are very much concentrated on. And we believe that as I said, this business has a lot of potential. And you can see all the big Internet players have invested heavily in this area. And so, I think we'll have a very good potential here, but we will be very cautious and intense our execution, to put it this way, so that we can control risk.
嗨，艾丽西亚，这是查尔斯。关于金融科技业务，我们已经谈了很多季度，我们始终认为垂直领域是我们可以拓展门户业务的领域，这是新浪的现有业务。因此，金融科技是我们看到很多潜力的领域。所以我们一直认为这是一个有增长潜力的领域。而且我们仍然认为公司特别大的互联网平台上有数据，用户流量在开发这项业务方面具有优势。所以我们已经这样做了几年了。我认为我们将继续在这一领域进行投资。你在过去几个季度看到的数字说明了我们已经 - 在这个领域非常好地成长。当然，我们在所有监管政策以及该特定领域的许可要求方面都非常谨慎，并且在开发业务方面非常谨慎，而且我们实际上并没有授予信用，我的意思是对于那些用户而言基本上不合格。因此，我们在[允许]借款人进入平台方面有非常严格的规定。因此，目前，我们在小额贷款业务方面几乎受到限制，并且还将我们的小额贷款业务限制在平台上的现有用户，因此我们更好地了解数据及其信用评级。因此，这实际上有助于我们发展业务以及实际控制我们 - 坏账率达到相当低的百分比。所以，我们可能会在金融科技业务方面遵循相同的策略。一方面，我们将继续发展这项业务，并确保我们能够提高我们进行数据挖掘的能力，并确保更好的客户向前发展。
另一方面，我们也可以，我的意思是确保我们 - 实际上无论我们做什么，我们都会遵守监管政策，这是我们非常关注的两个领域。我们相信，正如我所说，这项业务有很大的潜力。你可以看到所有大型互联网公司都在这个领域投入了大量资金。所以，我认为我们在这里有很好的潜力，但我们会非常谨慎和强烈地执行，这样说，这样我们就可以控制风险。
Your next question comes from the line of Thomas Chong from Jefferies.
Hi, Charles, Bonnie and Sandra. Thanks for taking my questions. I have two questions. One is about the advertising sentiment for key categories in portal. How is it versus Weibo about the performance for different key categories? And my second question is, we look that the OpEx you’re controlling very well in the second quarter. How should we think about the trend in operating expenses? And my last question is about our M&A strategies, given the recent Weibo bond offering? Thank you.
嗨，查尔斯，邦妮和桑德拉。 谢谢你回答我的问题。 我有两个问题。 一个是关于门户网站关键类别的广告情绪。 对于不同关键类别的性能，它与微博有何关系？ 我的第二个问题是，我们认为您在第二季度的控制非常好。 我们应该如何看待运营费用的趋势？ 鉴于最近的微博债券发行，我的最后一个问题是关于我们的并购策略？ 谢谢。
Let me take one-by-one, okay? Regarding the advertising area and if you look at the portal business, I'm sure that we have already elaborated that’s among key areas for Weibo. For portal, I think if you look at our business, it’s also between KA and SMEs. And the KA is doing relatively okay, but SME is not doing very well. And I think that key area for the KA will have – seeing some of the challenges in the automobile industry for KA, mainly because this entire industry actually is not doing very well as you have seen probably in some of the data in the market that the automobile sales in the second quarter actually was down by at least 20% year-over-year and that is quite significant. And that actually has impact on our portal advertising business in that particular area. We have seen similar trend in this area, although our Weibo other business is doing okay. But in terms of our portal -- because we do not have enough products to support this budget allocation, so we have seen pretty significant downturn in automobile advertising for this particular sector on portal.
And for other sector, actually, we have seen some of the bright spot actually in our financial service and we have been pretty much focused on financial vertical area, I mean for our news and for the financial APP. And so, we also develop a separate sales force for financial service for the portal business and that sector actually is doing much better I mean compared to last year and we see that momentum also going very well.
But in terms of the size of the business, I mean it’s still smaller, much smaller than automobile business. So it has potential, but in terms of net dollar impact, I mean it's still negative for the KA business. And for FMCG -- and we have seen some strong growth in the Weibo area, but it's not something that's very good for portal because we do not have right product for FMCG advertising for portal business.
And for other categories, I mean, I think they are less important. But on an overall basis, we have seen some of the downtrend for the portal KA areas for other sectors.
And for the SME, in this area, we have particularly facing challenge in the portal business, because our overall inventory is not significant. If you look at the traffic, our mobile news pack versus our mobile portal, and you see some of -- slight increase of our mobile APP news app in terms of traffic. But in terms of mobile portal, we’ve seen a slight decrease. So net-net, we're not only increasing our inventory too much for our mobile news business. And -- but if you look at the entire market demand and supply, and you have a lot of supplier in mobile news app business in terms of advertise inventory. So SME in terms of scale and everything else is not really that competitive in the market. So actually we see quite significant downturn in SME business for the portal. So that actually is overall summary in terms of our ad business for portal.
让我一个接一个，好吗？关于广告领域，如果你看一下门户网站业务，我相信我们已经详细阐述了微博的关键领域。对于门户网站，我认为如果你看看我们的业务，它也是KA和中小企业之间的关系。 KA的表现相对较好，但中小企业表现不佳。我认为KA的关键领域是 - 看到汽车行业对KA的一些挑战，主要是因为整个行业实际上并没有做得很好，因为你可能已经看到市场上的一些数据第二季度的汽车销量实际上同比下降了至少20％，这是非常重要的。这实际上对我们在该特定领域的门户广告业务产生了影响。虽然我们的微博其他业务表现不错，但我们在这方面也看到了类似的趋势。但就我们的门户而言 - 因为我们没有足够的产品来支持这种预算分配，所以我们看到门户网站上这个特定行业的汽车广告出现了相当大的下滑。
但就业务规模而言，我的意思是它仍然比汽车业务更小，更小。所以它有潜力，但就净美元影响而言，我的意思是它对KA业务仍然是负面的。对于快速消费品而言 - 我们在微博领域看到了一些强劲增长，但这对门户网站来说并不是非常好的，因为我们没有适合门户网站业务的快速消费品广告产品。
对于中小企业而言，在这一领域，我们特别面临门户业务的挑战，因为我们的整体库存并不重要。如果您查看流量，我们的移动新闻包与我们的移动门户网站，您会看到一些 - 我们的移动APP新闻应用程序在流量方面略有增加。但就移动门户而言，我们看到略有下降。所以网络，我们不仅为我们的移动新闻业务增加了太多的库存。而且 - 但是如果你看一下整个市场的需求和供应，你在移动新闻应用程序业务中有很多供应商的广告库存。因此，中小企业在规模和其他方面都不具备市场竞争力。实际上，我们看到门户网站的中小企业业务出现了相当严重的下滑。这实际上就我们的门户广告业务而言是总体总结。
就OpEx而言，我认为趋势，我的意思是，就像这种市场形势和我们的广告收入趋势一样，我们显然试图更加严格地控制成本。因此，我们已经为门户网站实施了严格的成本控制措施，我们将继续这样做。我们的观点可能会持续到明年。总的来说，我认为我们 - 我们仍将缩减门户网站的成本基础。但我们可以扩大在金融领域和体育领域的投资，这是例外。所以这些是两个垂直领域，我们看到用户增长和收入增长方面的强劲势头。所以这些领域，我们可能会更加关注我们的整体增长。但是对于剩余的门户区域，我们将在成本方面略微缩减。
And with M&A strategies -- and I think we'll be very cautious I mean on SINA side, we're quite cautious in terms of our M&A because this market is quite unstable right now. And so with a lot of APP and Internet companies going away, that this particular market is either you’re taking something that's very big or I mean your investment is just going to zero. So we'll be very cautious in this kind of market condition.
In terms of SINA's areas, we'll probably be more focused upon some of the vertical areas with the potential like financial and sports. And also that we'll be looking into some other new areas that will potentially have some big hit like we have increased our investment in our automobile, autonomous driving company called TuSimple this quarter -- in the second quarter by almost US$90 million. We believe this area this company has a leading position in the world and we see a lot of potential there in those areas. We believe that we could invest more, but for other areas, we'll be more cautious.
通过并购策略 - 我认为我们会非常谨慎，我认为在新浪方面，我们在并购方面非常谨慎，因为这个市场现在非常不稳定。因此，随着许多APP和互联网公司的离去，这个特定的市场要么是你拿的东西非常大，要么就是你的投资只是零。所以我们在这种市场条件下会非常谨慎。
就新浪的领域而言，我们可能更关注一些具有金融和体育潜力的垂直领域。此外，我们还将研究其他一些可能会受到重大打击的新领域，比如我们在本季度增加了对汽车，自动驾驶公司TuSimple的投资 - 第二季度将近9000万美元。我们相信这个领域这家公司在世界上处于领先地位，我们在这些领域看到了很多潜力。我们相信我们可以投资更多，但对于其他领域，我们会更加谨慎。
Thank you. I'd now like to hand the conference back to Ms. Sandra Zhang for closing remarks.
谢谢。 我现在想把会议交回Sandra Zhang女士的闭幕词。
This concludes our conference call for today. Thank you for joining us. We'll see you next quarter.
今天的电话会议结束了。 感谢您加入我们。 我们下个季度会见到你。
Thank you. Ladies and gentlemen, that does conclude our conference for today. Thank you for participating. You may all disconnect.
谢谢。 女士们，先生们，今天的会议结束了。 感谢您的参与。 你可能都断开了。
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