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Momo Comes Through With Another Blowout Quarter

By Rick Munarriz - Aug 23, 2018 at 10:48AM

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China's social video speedster moves higher after posting growth that once again topped its earlier guidance.

We can now stretch Momo's (MOMO 3.68%) winning streak to three quarters. Shares of the Chinese social video specialist moved 9% higher on Wednesday after posting better-than-projected financial results. The stock came through with double-digit percentage gains after its first-quarter report three months ago and last year's fourth-quarter results before that. 

Net revenue rose 58% to hit $494.3 million. Momo's top line has clocked in with decelerating growth in five of the past six quarters, but investors were already expecting that to happen. The driver behind the market's bullish reaction to the report is that Momo itself was only targeting 51% to 55% revenue growth when it initiated guidance for the second quarter in late May.

Momo app on a smartphone.

Image source: Momo.

We're rolling

The platform's popularity continues to grow. Monthly active users clocked in at 108 million in June, ahead of both the 91.3 million it had a year earlier and the 103.3 million it was watching over just three months earlier. Revenue growth is moving a lot faster than that, a testament to Momo milking more revenue out of its average user through improved monetization and getting more freeloaders to pay up for premium offerings.

Total paying users of its live video service and value-added service have risen from 7.1 million to 11.6 million over the past year, though the lion's share of that gain came from the social dating Tantan app acquisition that padded its paying user count. Momo's live video service continues to be the primary driver here, accounting for 83% of the generated revenue in the quarter. The number of paying users for live video has only grown from 4.1 million to 4.6 million over the past year, but premium accounts are paying more on average than they were a year earlier.

Momo's value-added service revenue is a smaller part of the revenue mix, but it's growing even faster. Its virtual gift business continues to gain traction.

As impressive as Momo's top-line gains are for the period, things look even better further down the income statement. Adjusted earnings rose 90% to $140.2 million, or $0.66 a share. The dot-com darling doesn't provide earnings guidance, but the hearty surge in profitability is impressive in any scenario.  

Momo is targeting $525 million to $540 million in revenue for the current quarter, a 51% to 55% increase from the prior year's third-quarter showing. This would translate into decelerating growth in six of the past seven quarters, but if the 51% to 55% growth forecast rings a bell, it's because that's the exact revenue percentage growth that Momo was forecasting for the second quarter. Momo seems to consistently push out conservative guidance. Investors are naturally hoping the hot stock keeps that trend going.

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