Weibo reports user and revenue growth

Updated: 2014-11-15 13:44


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Leading Chinese social media platform, Sina Weibo, posted a higher-than-expected financial report on Friday, saying its net revenues increased 58 percent year-on-year to $84.1 million in the third quarter.

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Weibo stock was up 4 percent in after-hours trading after the company released the results. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had expected Weibo's revenues at $81.5 million.

The company also forecasted its fourth-quarter revenues between $102 million to $105 million, edging above Wall Street's expectations of $100.55 million.

The hybrid of Twitter and Facebook owned by Sina Corp and Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd went public on the Nasdaq Stock Market on April 17 after raising $285.6 million.

In its financial results for the third quarter that ended Sept 30, the company posted its advertising and marketing revenues climbed 50 percent to $65.4 million while its revenues from Value Added Services (VAS) surged 93 percent to $18.8 million. About 44% of its advertising revenues came from mobile terminals.

As of Sept 30, the social media platform said its monthly active users were 167 million, up 36 percent from the previous quarter. Weibo now boasts a daily active user count of 76.6 million, up 30% from last year.

"We are taking meaningful steps in growing Weibo's user base and engagements, as well as refining formats and improving relevance of our advertising products," Weibo CEO Wang Gaofei said in a statement.

He also said the firm has expanded the scale of its payment system, "building a solid foundation for long-term growth."

Sina Weibo introduced Alibaba as a stakeholder in 2013 to act as a bridge for Sina to make use of the Alipay service. It launched an online payment service called WeiboPay to accelerate its commercialization process. Every Weibo user automatically has a WeiboPay account. As of the mid-October, the active WeiboPay users jumped 60 percent month-on-month to 7.92 million.

Separately, Chinese Web portal Sina, which Sina Weibo was spun off from and retains a 56 percent stake in the site, offered a fourth-quarter revenue outlook below Wall Street's expectations.

Third-quarter revenues for Sina grew 7.6 percent to $198.6 million, compared to $184.6 million last year. The Web portal forecasts fourth-quarter revenue between $204 million and $210 million, lower than analysts' expectations of $214.75 million.