SINA posted healthy third-quarter results last night. Net revenue climbed 15% to $64.3 million. Earnings soared 60% to $0.28 per share, up a still-sharp 31% to $0.32 a share on an adjusted basis. Analysts were looking for the new-media specialist to earn $0.28 a share on $64.6 million in net revenues.
The 15% gain on the top line deserves a little color. It resulted from a 40% spike in online advertising, partly weighed down by a 21% decline elsewhere. (Sounds like a continuation of last quarter.) Now that advertising makes up 71% of its revenue, glossing over the weakness in SINA's mobile value-added services division is entirely understandable.
Five years ago, cell-phone content was where all of the cool kids like SINA, NetEase.com
These days, mostly small players like KongZhong
SINA is also not immune to copying pages from of the Google
The company aims to generate $68 million to $70 million in net revenue during the current quarter. That's a sequential gain, but analysts are perched at the high end of that range. After slightly missing the top-line target for the third quarter, the market's initial reaction was to send SINA's shares lower.
That's OK. With $439 million in the bank, SINA can afford to wait. With high-margin ad revenue continuing to become a bigger part of the SINA story, I'd have to side with patient investors in seeing this one through.
For more color to the SINA story:
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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz has been a fan of China's high-margin online stocks for a long time. He does not own shares in any of the companies in this story. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.