Weibo second-quarter revenue doubles as ad sales jump

Weibo second-quarter revenue doubles as ad sales jump
A man holds an iPhone as he visits Sina's Weibo microblogging site in Shanghai in this May 29, 2012 file photo.

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 between US$79 million (S$98.46 million) and US$82 million.

Analysts on average were expecting third-quarter revenue at US$80.2 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

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 ended June 30.

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

Weibo, in which China's biggest e-commerce company Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd IPO-BABA.N also has a stake, ended the quarter with 69.7 million daily active users.

The microblogging company has come under pressure as China stepped up its censorship of the internet over the past year. This has dealt a heavy blow to microblogs like Weibo where open debate about political issues can land a user in jail.

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

On an adjusted basis, the company earned 3 cents per share, inline 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.

Weibo's shares were down 4.2 per cent in after-market trading, after closing at US$21.46 on the Nasdaq on Thursday.

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