Why Sky-mobi Ltd Shares Soared Today

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of Sky-mobi Limited (NASDAQ: MOBI  ) rose more than 12% early Friday, then settled to close up around 8% after the Chinese mobile app store operator announced a $20 million share repurchase program, and a change to its fiscal year-end.

So what: Citing a desire to provide more consistent quarter-to-quarter comparisons with industry peers, Sky-mobi has decided to move its fiscal year-end to December 31 instead of March 31. In addition, Sky-mobi's board of directors has approved a $20 million share repurchase program ending on May 30, 2015.

Sky-mobi CFO John Bi added, "Given our strong balance sheet, long-term growth prospects, and successful turnaround story, we believe that now is the right time to enhance shareholder value through share repurchases and continued investment in growth initiatives."

Now what: To be sure, $20 million is a big chunk of change considering Sky-mobi's entire market capitalization currently sits at roughly $220 million. And to dedicate such a large amount of cash to repurchasing shares is a curious decision for such a small company, which would seem to have significant avenues to instead invest more of that cash in growing the business.

After all, revenue and adjusted earnings only increased 11.6% and 11% year over year, respectively, in Sky-mobi's latest quarter. At the same time, if Sky-mobi expects its rates of growth to accelerate going forward, it's also hard to blame the company for wanting to buy back shares currently at just 14.3 times next year's estimated earnings. In the end, I'm personally opting to simply watch Sky-mobi's progress for the next quarter or so, but I'll admit the stock could very easily reward patient investors from here.

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