Advertising sales drive Weibo to forecast-beating revenue gain

PUBLISHED : Friday, 15 August, 2014, 12:41pm
UPDATED : Friday, 15 August, 2014, 12:41pm

Weibo Corp, the company behind China’s biggest microblog by users, reported second-quarter revenue above analysts’ expectations, helped by a surge in advertising sales.

The company, majority-owned by Chinese internet firm Sina Corp, forecast third-quarter revenue of between US$79 million and US$82 million. Analysts on average were expecting third-quarter revenue of US$80.2 million in a survey.

Weibo, which made its listing debut in the United States in April, said advertising and marketing revenue nearly doubled to US$59.6 million in the second quarter to June.

But growth in daily active users for the messaging service slowed during the three months to 32 per cent from 37 per cent in the preceding quarter.

Weibo, in which Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group also has a stake, ended the quarter with 69.7 million daily active users.

The microblogging company has come under pressure as the Chinese government stepped up its censorship of the internet over the past year. This has dealt a heavy blow to microblogs like Weibo.

Net loss attributable to shareholders narrowed to US$15.4 million, or 8 US cents per share, in the second quarter from US$35.1 million, or 24 US cents, a year earlier.

On an adjusted basis, the company earned 3 US cents per share, in line with expectations.

Revenue more than doubled to US$77.3 million, above analysts’ average estimate of US$75.9 million.

Separately, Sina reported a 19 per cent rise in net revenue on Weibo’s strong performance and a 29 per cent jump in advertising sales.