I’ve had May 16 circled on my calendar in anticipation of this moment. My favorite Chinese internet stock just reported stunning sales and earnings growth for the first quarter.
Weibo (WB) is popularly known as “China’s answer to Twitter.” Weibo is a social media company that allows Chinese users to express themselves, connect with others, discover Chinese-language content and use push notifications on their mobile devices. Weibo also offers online games and mobile apps. Weibo has experienced tremendous growth since its launch in 2010.
Before the opening bell today, Weibo reported that first-quarter net revenue soared 67% year-over-year to $199.2 million, above the company’s guidance for sales between $185 million and $190 million. Net income surged 254% year-over-year to $57.8 million, while earnings per share jumped 271% year-over-year to $0.26. The analyst community was looking for earnings of $0.21 per share on $186.85 million in sales, so Weibo posted a 23.8% earnings surprise and a 6.6% sales surprise.
Looking ahead to the second quarter, Weibo is expecting sales between $240 million and $250 million. That represents 63.4% to 70.2% annual sales growth. Thanks to the first-quarter earnings beat and strong forward-looking guidance, WB shares are up more than 11% as I write this.
This was a tremendous report, and I expect that analysts will revise their forward sales and earnings forecasts higher in the coming weeks. In the meantime, I consider WB an A-rating Strong Buy.