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Why Weibo Shares Dropped 13% Last Month

By Anders Bylund – Dec 3, 2019 at 3:50PM

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The Chinese microblogging network operator posted decent third-quarter earnings but its formerly impressive revenue growth is hitting the brakes.

What happened

Shares of Weibo (WB 0.10%) fell 13% in November, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence. The provider of Chinese microblogging services got off to a good start and the stock rose as much as 12.8% above October's closing prices by Nov. 8, but then the company posted a solid third-quarter earnings report with a side of weak fourth-quarter guidance. Shares fell as much as 18% that day alone, setting a negative tone for the rest of November.

So what

Weibo's third-quarter sales rose 1.7% year over year to $468 million. Adjusted earnings increased by 2.7% to $0.77 per diluted share. The analyst consensus had called for earnings near $0.73 per share on sales in the neighborhood of $468 million.

Looking ahead, Weibo's management said fourth-quarter revenue would grow roughly 1.5% year over year in constant currencies. That's far below the 7.5% annual growth rate your average analyst had been projecting at the time.

A group of Chinese youngsters sit on colorful beanbags, smiling at their smartphones.

Image source: Getty Images.

Now what

Weibo's stalled top-line growth failed to reignite in the third quarter and management painted a picture of continued weakness in the reporting period ahead. Weibo is pulling every available lever to restart the sputtering growth engine, from cost-cutting efforts to a focus on promoting explosive news content across its social media platforms. Management blamed the slowdown on difficult year-over-year comparisons and macroeconomic pressures.

It's no surprise to see investors punishing this supposed high-growth tech stock for a lack of actual growth. This could be a decent buy-in point for prospective Weibo investors betting on a strong bounce once those macroeconomic headwinds stop blowing.

Anders Bylund has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Weibo. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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