SINA Corp (NASDAQ:SINA), a leading online media company serving China and the global Chinese communities, today announced its unaudited financial results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2015.

Second Quarter 2015 Highlights

  • Net revenues increased 14% year over year to $213.6 million. Non-GAAP net revenues increased 14% year over year to $211.0 million.
  • Advertising revenues grew 13% year over year to $176.3 million. Non-advertising revenues were $37.3 million. Non-GAAP non-advertising revenues were $34.7 million.
  • Net income attributable to SINA was $11.7 million, or $0.19 diluted net income per share attributable to SINA. Non-GAAP net income attributable to SINA was $4.0 million, or $0.06non-GAAP diluted net income per share attributable to SINA.

“We are delighted that SINA has further implemented its vertical and mobile strategies and launched a set of constructive corporate actions to better leverage SINA’s brand equity, capture business opportunities and give momentum to the capital market,” said Charles Chao, Chairman and CEO ofSINA. “We have great confidence in the core business of the Company and the long-term growth we could achieve. On the mobile front, we have continually witnessed robust growth in user traffic and improved monetization for the past quarters.” Mr. Chao added.

“On the Weibo side, we continued to show strong momentum in both operational and financial fronts. In the second quarter 2015, Weibo recorded a non-GAAP earnings of $10.9 million, well above the street consensus. We are confident that with Weibo’s firm execution in growing user base and engagement, capitalizing on the mobile strategy and leveraging partnership with Alibaba to enable e-commerce transactions, the powerful social media platform and cohesive ecosystem that we have built can better fulfill the needs of users, customers and merchants at various dimensions and can generate sustainable earnings and cash flows and create long-term value to our shareholders.” Mr. Chao concluded.

Second Quarter 2015 Financial Results

For the second quarter of 2015, SINA reported net revenues of $213.6 million, compared to $187.0 million for the same period last year. Non-GAAP net revenues for the second quarter of 2015 totaled$211.0 million, compared to $184.4 million for the same period last year.

Online advertising revenues for the second quarter of 2015 were $176.3 million, compared to$155.8 million for the same period last year. The year-over-year growth in online advertising revenues resulted from an increase of $28.3 million in Weibo advertising and marketing revenues, offset by a decline of $7.9 million in portal advertising revenues.

Non-advertising revenues for the second quarter of 2015 were $37.3 million. Non-GAAP non-advertising revenues for the second quarter of 2015 were $34.7 million, compared to $28.6 millionfor the same period last year. The year-over-year growth in non-GAAP non-advertising revenues was mainly attributable to portal’s new business initiatives and the increases in revenues fromWeibo’s game business and membership fees, partly offset by a decrease in Weibo data license revenue.

Gross margin for the second quarter of 2015 was 60%, compared to 61% for the same period last year. Advertising gross margin for the second quarter of 2015 was 61%, compared to 59% for the same period last year. Non-advertising gross margin for the second quarter of 2015 was 54%, compared to 67% for the same period last year. The decline in non-advertising margin was primarily due to lower margin contribution of portal’s new business, which is at the early stage of development.

Operating expenses for the second quarter of 2015 totaled $134.4 million, compared to $138.6 million for the same period last year. Non-GAAP operating expenses for the second quarter of 2015 totaled $120.1 million, compared to $116.9 million for the same period last year, primarily due to higher personnel costs, partially offset by decrease in sales and marketing expenditures.

Loss from operations for the second quarter of 2015 was $6.8 million, compared to $25.2 million for the same period last year. Non-GAAP income from operations for the second quarter of 2015 was$6.0 million, compared to a non-GAAP loss of $5.4 million for the same period last year.

Non-operating income for the second quarter of 2015 was $22.8 million, compared to a non-operating income of $31.2 million for the same period last year. Non-operating income for the second quarter of 2015 mainly included: (i) an $18.9 million gain from sale of marketable securities, which is excluded under non-GAAP measure; and (ii) a $5.5 million loss from equity method investment in E-House and reported one-quarter in arrears. Non-operating income for the second quarter of 2014 mainly included: (i) a gain of $29.1 million from Tencent’s acquisition of a 15% equity interest in Leju, a subsidiary of E-House, on a fully diluted basis from E-House; and (ii) a $6.8 millionloss from the change in fair value of investor option liability in connection with Alibaba’s investment in Weibo.

Net income attributable to SINA for the second quarter of 2015 was $11.7 million, compared to $16.6 million for the same period last year. Diluted net income per share attributable to SINA for the second quarter of 2015 was $0.19, compared to $0.25 for the same period last year. Non-GAAP net income attributable to SINA for the second quarter of 2015 was $4.0 million, compared to $12.1 million for the same period last year. Non-GAAP diluted net income per share attributable to SINA for the second quarter of 2015 was $0.06, compared to $0.17 for the same period last year.

As of June 30, 2015, SINA’s cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments totaled $1.9 billion, compared to $2.2 billion as of December 31, 2014. The decrease in cash, cash equivalents, and short-term investments was mainly due to the new investments made in the second quarter of 2015. For the second quarter of 2015, net cash provided by operating activities was $121.4 million, capital expenditures totaled $12.8 million, and depreciation and amortization expenses amounted to $9.9 million.

Other Developments

On April 11, 2014, the Company announced the adoption of a share repurchase program wherebySINA is authorized to repurchase its own ordinary shares with an aggregate value of up to $500 million. As of May 31, 2015, the expiration date of the program, the Company has repurchased approximately 8.1 million shares under the program for approximately $311 million in cash.

On June 1, 2015, the Company announced that it has entered into a legally binding subscription agreement with Charles Chao, Chairman and CEO of the Company, for the issuance and sale of 11,000,000 newly issued ordinary shares of the Company to Mr. Chao for a total purchase price of approximately $456 million in cash. The per share purchase price is $41.49, representing the average closing trading price of SINA’s ordinary shares for the 30 trading days ended May 29, 2015. The closing is expected to take place upon satisfaction of customary closing conditions. The shares subscribed under this transaction will be subject to a contractual lock-up restriction for six months after the closing.

On June 19, 2015, the Company announced that it has joined a consortium with respect to the proposed going-private transaction of E-House (China) Holdings Limited (“E-House”). To effectively execute its vertical strategy, the Company has agreed that should the transaction be completed, the Company will exchange all the E-House shares it beneficially owns (including shares acquired in the going-private transaction of E-House) upon the completion of the transaction with certain number of ordinary shares of Leju held by then E-House, based on an exchange ratio determined in accordance with a mutually agreed formula.

Non-GAAP Measures

This release contains the following non-GAAP financial measures: non-GAAP net revenues, non-GAAP non-advertising revenues, non-GAAP advertising and non-advertising gross margin, non-GAAP operating expenses, non-GAAP income (loss) from operations, non-GAAP net income attributable to SINA and non-GAAP diluted net income per share attributable to SINA. These non-GAAP financial measures should be considered in addition to, not as a substitute for, measures of the Company’s financial performance prepared in accordance with U.S. GAAP. The Company’s non-GAAP financial measures may be defined differently than similar terms used by other companies. Accordingly, care should be exercised in understanding how the Company defines its non-GAAP financial measures.

The Company’s non-GAAP financial measures exclude recognition of deferred revenues in relation to the equity investment in E-House, stock-based compensation, amortization of intangible assets net of tax, adjustment for GAAP to non-GAAP reconciling items on the share of equity method investments, gain (loss) on the sale, deemed disposal and impairment on business, investment and non-controlling interest in a subsidiary, change in fair value of investor option liability, adjustment for GAAP to non-GAAP reconciling items for the gain (loss) attributable to non-controlling interests and amortization of convertible debt issuance cost. The Company’s management uses these non-GAAP financial measures in their financial and operating decision-making, because management believes these measures reflect the Company’s ongoing business operations in a manner that allows more meaningful period-to-period comparisons. The Company believes that these non-GAAP financial measures provide useful information to investors and others in the following ways: (i) in comparing the Company’s current financial results with the Company’s past financial results in a consistent manner, and (ii) in understanding and evaluating the Company’s current operating performance and future prospects in the same manner as management does, if they so choose. The Company also believes that the non-GAAP financial measures provide useful information to both management and investors by excluding certain expenses, gains/losses and other items (i) that are not expected to result in future cash payments or (ii) that are non-recurring in nature or may not be indicative of the Company’s core operating results and business outlook.

Use of non-GAAP financial measures has limitations. The Company’s non-GAAP financial measures do not include all income and expense items that affect the Company’s operations.  They may not be comparable to non-GAAP financial measures used by other companies. Management compensates for these limitations by also considering the Company’s financial results prepared in accordance with U.S. GAAP. Reconciliations of the Company’s non-GAAP measures to the nearest comparable GAAP measures are set forth in the section below titled “Unaudited Reconciliation of Non-GAAP to GAAP Results.” (Original Source)

In reaction to the earnings announcement, shares of Sina Corp. raised 5.34% to 41.00 in after-hours trading. SINA has a 1-year high of $61.25 and a 1-year low of $31.92. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $43.30 and its 200-day moving average is $41.87.

On the ratings front, Sina has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report released yesterday, Tiger Hill Capital analyst Tian Hou upgraded SINA to Buy, with a price target of $62, which implies an upside of 59.3% from current levels. Separately, on July 15, Deutsche Bank’s Vivian Hao downgraded the stock to Hold and has a price target of $50.

According to TipRanks.com, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Tian Hou and Vivian Hao have a total average return of -7.0% and 5.7% respectively. Hou has a success rate of 32.0% and is ranked #3366 out of 3738 analysts, while Hao has a success rate of 65.4% and is ranked #1376.

SINA Corp is an online media company and MVAS provider in the People’s Republic of China and for the Chinese communities.