Analysts weigh in on micro-blogging giant Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) as the company prepares to post earnings tomorrow afternoon, and online travel leader Ctrip.com International, Ltd. (ADR) (NASDAQ:CTRP) following the Chinese travel company’s airline partnership.
Twitter will post first quarter earnings tomorrow, April 26, after market close. Mark Mahaney of RBC Capital expects the social media company to post revenue of $611 million and non-GAAP EPS of $0.11, just above the consensus estimate of $608 million and $0.10, respectively. The analyst points out that Twitter has guided revenue between $595 million and $610 million, but has “exceeded its revenue guide 6/7 quarters.” While the high end of this guidance marks a 40% year-over-year increase, it is still a deceleration considering the company posted a 48% increase in the previous quarter.
In the report, Mahaney will be focusing on user growth, revenue trends, and monetization efforts. He explains that Twitter increased monthly average users, or MAUs, 6% year-over-year in the previous quarter to 306 million, though this is a deceleration from the third quarter. Mahaney expects “further deceleration to 2% Y/Y growth in Q1, resulting in Twitter’s global user base remaining flat Y/Y at 306MM MAUs vs. 13MM Net Adds in Q1:15.”
Mahaney expects advertising revenue, which comprises about 90% of the company’s overall revenue, to decelerate over time. The analyst forecasts a 39% year-over-year increase in revenue for the upcoming earnings report, compared to 48% year-over-year increase in the previous quarter. Mahaney continues, “Twitter monetizes its users at a much lower rate than Facebook. Twitter generated $2.01 for every MAU in Q4:15 compared to $3.59 for Facebook. Twitter grew its monetization 36% Y/Y compared to Facebook’s 37% Y/Y growth, though it had been growing faster than FB each qtr several years prior to Q4:15.”
Ahead of the earnings report, Mahaney reiterates a Sector Perform rating with a $23 price target, marking a 33% potential upside.
According to TipRanks, 45% of analysts covering the stock are bullish, 48% are neutral, and 7% are bearish. The average 12-month price target is $25.17, marking a 46% potential upside. Mark Mahaney is a top-ranked analyst with a 63% success rate recommending stocks and an average one-year return of 18.4%.
Ctrip.com International, Ltd. (ADR)
In light of Ctrip’s announcement that it will be partnering with China Eastern Airlines, Nomura analyst Jialong Shi weighed in on the Chinese travel company.
On April 21, Ctrip announced a strategic collaboration with China Eastern Air Holding Company, the parent company of China Eastern Airlines, in which Ctrip will invest RMB 3 billion in the airline to collaborate on low-cost transportation logistics, travel insurance, and e-commerce. The analyst adds, “In addition, we expect these two companies to collaborate on outbound travel in areas such as chartering outbound flights.” Shi elaborates on the deal, noting, “Ctrip is also entitled to further increase its stake in CEA in the next 12 months and may appoint an observer or director to CEA’s board, subject to meeting a certain holding threshold.”
Shi believes that Ctrip may “aim to strengthen its supply chain for air ticketing service through this partnership.” Since the airlines have strong bargaining power as demonstrated by a recent boycott of Qunar, another travel site, this partnership “makes it unlikely for the big three airlines to make a concerted boycott against Ctrip in the future. Despite this precaution, the analyst believes Ctrip’s relationships with all major airlines remains good. However, Shi notes, “whether Ctrip can treat all the airlines equally and fairly may affect its relations with all the other airlines going forward.”
Following the deal, Shi maintains a Buy rating on the company with a price target of $49, marking a 4% potential upside.
According to TipRanks, 100% of analysts who have weighed in on Ctrip in the last 3 months are bullish on the company with an average 12-month price target of $55.88, marking an 18% potential upside. Jialong Shi has a 71% success rate recommending stocks with an 8.2% average one-year return per rating.