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Weibo Reports Fourth Quarter and Fiscal Year 2015 Financial Results

BEIJING, March 02, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Weibo Corporation (“Weibo” or the “Company”) (NASDAQ:WB), a leading social media in China, today announced its unaudited financial results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year ended December 31, 2015.

Fourth Quarter 2015 Highlights

  • Net revenues increased 42% year over year to $149.0 million, reaching the high end of the Company’s guidance between $146 million and $149 million.
  • Advertising and marketing revenue increased 47% year over year to $129.5 million.
  • Weibo Value-Added Services (“Weibo VAS”) revenue increased 13% year over year to $19.5 million, despite a 31% year-over-year decline in revenue from data licensing, a deemphasized business.
  • Net income attributable to Weibo’s ordinary shareholders increased 332% year over year to $19.1 million, and diluted net income per share was $0.09, compared to $0.02 for the same period last year.
  • Non-GAAP net income attributable to Weibo’s ordinary shareholders increased 258% to $32.9 million and non-GAAP diluted net income per share was $0.15, compared to $0.04 for the same period last year.
  • Adjusted EBITDA increased 131% year over year to $37.0 million.
  • Monthly active users (“MAUs”) in December 2015 grew 34% year over year to 236 million, 83% of which were mobile users. Average daily active users (“DAUs”) in December 2015 grew 32% year over year to 106 million.

Fiscal Year 2015 Highlights

  • Net revenues increased 43% year over year to $477.9 million.
  • Advertising and marketing revenue increased 52% year over year to $402.4 million.
  • Weibo VAS revenue increased 9% year over year to $75.5 million.
  • Net income attributable to Weibo’s ordinary shareholders reached $34.7 million, or diluted net income per share of $0.16, compared to a net loss of $65.3 million for 2014, or diluted net loss per share of $0.35.
  • Non-GAAP net income attributable to Weibo’s ordinary shareholders was $68.8 million, or non-GAAP diluted net income per share of $0.32, compared to a non-GAAP net loss of $2.3 million for 2014, or non-GAAP diluted net loss per share of $0.01.
  • Adjusted EBITDA increased 454% year over year to $85.7 million.

“Weibo ended 2015 on a high note with non-Alibaba advertising and marketing revenues growing 69% year over year on a constant currency basis and adjusted EBITDA margin reaching 25% in the fourth quarter,” said Gaofei Wang, Weibo’s CEO. “On the user side, Weibo’s traffic growth continues to be robust, as we are positioned at the conjuncture of social, mobile and video. For example, in December 2015, mobile DAUs grew 46% year over year to 94 million and average daily video views grew 53% sequentially.”

Fourth Quarter 2015 Financial Results

For the fourth quarter of 2015, Weibo reported net revenues of $149.0 million, compared to $105.2 million for the same period last year. Advertising and marketing revenue totaled $129.5 million, compared to $88.0 million for the same period last year. Weibo VAS revenue totaled $19.5 million, compared to $17.2 million for the same period last year.

Costs and expenses for the fourth quarter of 2015 totaled $123.2 million, compared to $100.6 million for the same period last year. Non-GAAP costs and expenses were $116.3 million, compared to $95.7 million for the same period last year. The increase in non-GAAP costs and expenses was primarily due to an increase in infrastructure costs resulting from strong video consumption and overall growth traffic, an increase in game and other revenue share, value added taxes associated with higher revenues, and higher personnel-related costs.

Income from operations for the fourth quarter of 2015 was $25.8 million, compared to $4.7 million for the same period last year. Non-GAAP income from operations was $32.8 million, compared to $9.5 million for the same period last year.

Non-operating loss for the fourth quarter of 2015 was $5.8 million, compared to a non-operating income of $3.0 million for the same period last year. Non-operating loss for the fourth quarter of 2015 included write downs on investments of $7.2 million.

Net income attributable to Weibo’s ordinary shareholders for the fourth quarter of 2015 was $19.1 million, or diluted net income per share of $0.09, compared to $4.4 million for the same period last year, or diluted net income per share of $0.02. Non-GAAP net income attributable to Weibo’s ordinary shareholders for the fourth quarter of 2015 was $32.9 million, or diluted net income per share of $0.15, compared to $9.2 million for the same period last year, or diluted net income per share of $0.04.

As of December 31, 2015, Weibo’s cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments totaled $335.9 million. For the fourth quarter of 2015, cash provided by operating activities was $51.7 million, capital expenditures totaled $2.7 million, and depreciation and amortization expenses amounted to $4.4 million.

Business Outlook

For the first quarter of 2016, Weibo estimates that its net revenues to be between $111 million and $116 million. This forecast reflects Weibo’s current and preliminary view, which is subject to change.

Non-GAAP Measures

This release contains the following non-GAAP financial measures: non-GAAP costs and expenses, non-GAAP income (loss) from operations, non-GAAP net income (loss), non-GAAP diluted net income (loss) per share attributable to Weibo’s ordinary shareholders and adjusted EBITDA. 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 exclude stock-based compensation, amortization of intangible assets net of tax, change in fair value of investor option liability, gain on the sale of investments and impairment on investments, net, and dividend income from investments. In addition, adjusted EBITDA excludes depreciation expenses, interest income (expenses) and income tax expenses (benefits). 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 operating performance 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.  Accordingly, care should be exercised in understanding how the Company defines its non-GAAP financial measures. 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.”

The unaudited condensed combined and consolidated statements of operations and balance sheets have been prepared assuming that the Weibo funds acquired from SINA on June 30, 2015 as if they had been owned by Weibo for all periods. Impact of such funds to each period was not significant.

Conference Call

Weibo will host a conference call at 8 PM - 9 PM Eastern Time on March 2, 2016 (or 9 AM10 AM Beijing Time on March 3, 2016) to present an overview of the Company’s financial performance and business operations. A live webcast of the call will be available through the Company’s corporate website at http://ir.weibo.com. The conference call can be accessed as follows:

US Toll Free:  +1 (888) 346-8982
Hong Kong Toll Free:  +852 800-905-945
China Toll Free:  +86 400-120-1203
International:  +1 (412) 902-4272
Passcode for all regions:  Weibo

A replay of the conference call will be available through midnight Eastern Time, March 9, 2016. The dial-in number is +1 (412) 317-0088. The passcode for the replay is 10081694.

About Weibo Corporation

Weibo is a leading social media for people to create, share and discover Chinese-language content. Weibo combines the means of public self-expression in real time with a powerful platform for social interaction, as well as content aggregation and distribution. Any user can create and post a feed of up to 140 Chinese characters and attach multi-media or long-form content. User relationships on Weibo may be asymmetric; any user can follow any other user and add comments to a feed while reposting. This simple, asymmetric and distributed nature of Weibo allows an original feed to become a live viral conversation stream.

Weibo enables its advertising and marketing customers to promote their brands, products and services to users. Weibo offers a wide variety of advertising and marketing solutions to its customers, ranging from large brand advertisers to Alibaba/e-commerce merchants to small and medium sized enterprises to individuals. The Company generates a substantial majority of revenues from the sale of advertising and marketing services, including the sale of social display ads, promoted feeds and event-based ad solutions. Weibo has developed and is continuously refining its social interest graph recommendation engine, which enables its customers to perform people marketing and target audiences based on user demographics, social relationships, interests and behaviors, to achieve greater relevance, engagement and marketing effectiveness.

Safe Harbor Statement

This press release contains forward-looking statements that relate to, among other things, Weibo’s expected financial performance and strategic and operational plans (as described, without limitation, in the “Business Outlook” section and in quotations from management in this press release. Weibo may also make forward-looking statements in the Company’s periodic reports to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), in press releases and other written materials and in oral statements made by its officers, directors or employees to third parties. Statements that are not historical facts, including statements about the Company’s beliefs and expectations, are forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements can be identified by terminology, such as “will,” “expects,” “anticipates,” “future,” “intends,” “plans,” “believes,” “confidence,” “estimates” and similar statements. Forward-looking statements involve inherent risks and uncertainties. A number of important factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statement. Potential risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, Weibo’s limited operating history in certain new businesses; failure to grow active user base and the level of user engagement; the uncertain regulatory landscape in China; fluctuations in the Company’s quarterly operating results; the Company’s reliance on advertising and marketing sales for a majority of its revenues; failure to successfully develop, introduce, drive adoption of or monetize new features and products; failure to compete effectively for advertising and marketing spending; failure to develop the small and medium enterprise market by the Company or through cooperation with other parties, including Alibaba; failure to successfully integrate acquired businesses; risks associated with the Company’s investments, including equity pick-up and impairment; failure to compete successfully against new entrants and established industry competitors; changes in the macro-economic environment, including the depreciation of the Renminbi; and adverse changes in economic and political policies of the PRC government and its impact on the Chinese economy. Further information regarding these and other risks is included in Weibo’s annual report on Form 20-F for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2014 filed with the SEC on April 28, 2015 and other filings with the SEC. All information provided in this press release is current as of the date hereof, and Weibo assumes no obligation to update such information, except as required under applicable law.

WEIBO CORPORATION  
UNAUDITED CONDENSED COMBINED AND CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS  
(U.S. Dollars in thousands, except per share data)  
                         
                         
      Three months ended   Twelve months ended  
      December 31,   September 30,   December 31,  
         2015         2014         2015         2015         2014     
           As adjusted (a)             As adjusted (a)   
Net revenues:                      
  Advertising and marketing   $    129,527     $    87,973     $    105,861     $    402,415     $    264,782    
  Weibo VAS       19,498         17,239         18,873         75,476         69,390    
  Total net revenues       149,025         105,212         124,734         477,891         334,172    
                         
  Cost of revenues (b)       42,105         25,786         37,241         141,960         83,599    
  Sales and marketing (b)       36,253         34,054         30,106         126,059         120,361    
  Product development (b)       36,614         33,112         37,493         143,444         125,832    
  General and administrative (b)       8,265         7,610         5,996         28,925         26,483    
  Total costs and expenses       123,237         100,562         110,836         440,388         356,275    
Income (loss) from operations       25,788         4,650         13,898         37,503         (22,103 )  
                         
Non-operating income (loss):                      
  Gain on sale of and impairment on investments, net       (7,207 )       -          (462 )       (7,061 )       (2,040 )  
  Interest and other income , net       1,443         3,017         1,818         6,338         6,775    
  Change in fair value of investor option liability       -          -          -          -          (46,972 )  
          (5,764 )       3,017         1,356         (723 )       (42,237 )  
                         
Income (loss) before income tax expenses       20,024         7,667         15,254         36,780         (64,340 )  
  Income tax expenses       (1,152 )       (2,877 )       (1,030 )       (2,591 )       (1,128 )  
                         
Net income (loss)        18,872         4,790         14,224         34,189         (65,468 )  
  Less: Net income (loss) attributable to
  noncontrolling interest
    (250 )       362         (253 )       (556 )       (143 )  
                         
Net income (loss) attributable to Weibo' ordinary
  shareholders
$    19,122     $    4,428     $    14,477     $    34,745     $    (65,325 )  
                         
Basic net income (loss) per share attributable to
  Weibo’s ordinary shareholders
$    0.09     $    0.02     $    0.07     $    0.17     $    (0.35 )  
Diluted net income (loss) per share attributable to
  Weibo’s ordinary shareholders
$    0.09     $    0.02     $    0.07     $    0.16     $    (0.35 )  
                         
Shares used in computing basic                      
  net income (loss) per share attributable to Weibo’s
  ordinary shareholders
    210,764         202,844         209,356         208,163         186,878    
Shares used in computing diluted                      
  net income (loss) per share attributable to Weibo’s
  ordinary shareholders
    219,464         216,845         217,681         217,918         186,878    
                         
(a) The unaudited condensed combined and consolidated statements of operations have been prepared assuming that the Weibo funds acquired from SINA on June 30, 2015 as if they had been owned by Weibo for all periods.  
                         
(b) Stock-based compensation in each category:                      
  Cost of revenues   $    275     $    194     $    380     $    1,196     $    755    
  Sales and marketing       856         368         924         3,209         1,583    
  Product development       2,473         1,655         3,028         10,210         4,392    
  General and administrative       3,006         2,290         2,917         11,784         7,049    
                         

 

WEIBO CORPORATION
UNAUDITED CONDENSED COMBINED AND CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS
(U.S. Dollars in thousands)
                   
            December 31,   December 31,  
               2015         2014     
                 As adjusted (a)   
   
  Assets
         
  Current assets:            
      Cash and cash equivalents   $    237,440     $    284,865    
      Short-term investments       98,439         166,414    
      Accounts receivable, net     120,230         120,210    
      Prepaid expenses and other current assets       42,295         18,357   (b)
        Current assets subtotal       498,404         589,846    
                   
  Property and equipment, net       22,850         30,874    
  Goodwill and intangible assets, net     13,083         15,191    
  Investments         294,679         63,777    
  Other assets         10,173         3,826   (b)
  Total assets     $    839,189     $    703,514    
                   
  Liabilities and Shareholders' Equity
         
  Liabilities:            
    Current liabilities:          
      Accounts payable   $    2,532     $    2,420    
      Accrued liabilities       154,964         87,595    
      Deferred revenues       39,091         20,957    
      Amount due to SINA       12,188         24,279    
        Current liabilities subtotal       208,775         135,251    
                   
    Long-term liability       2,385         873    
      Total liabilities       211,160         136,124    
                   
  Shareholders' equity :          
    Weibo ordinary shareholders' equity        620,672         559,204    
    Non-controlling interest       7,357         8,186    
      Total shareholders' equity        628,029         567,390    
                   
  Total liabilities and shareholders' equity    $    839,189     $    703,514    
                   
                   
  (a) The unaudited condensed combined and consolidated balance sheets have been prepared assuming that the Weibo funds acquired from SINA on June 30, 2015 as if they had been owned by Weibo for all periods.
   
  (b) In 2015, Weibo early adopted the guidance of ASU 2015-17 issued by FASB in November 2015, which requires entities to present deferred tax assets ("DTA") and deferred tax liabilities as non-current in the balance  sheets. Pursuant to the guidance, Weibo retrospectively reclassified $18 thousand of current DTA from prepaid expenses and other current assets into other assets in the consolidated balance sheet as of December 31, 2014.

 

WEIBO CORPORATION  
UNAUDITED RECONCILIATION OF NON-GAAP TO GAAP RESULTS  
(U.S. Dollars in thousands, except per share data)  
                                             
          Three months ended  
          December 31, 2015   December 31, 2014   September 30, 2015  
                       As adjusted               
                  Non-GAAP           Non-GAAP           Non-GAAP  
          Actual   Adjustments   Results   Actual   Adjustments   Results   Actual   Adjustments   Results  
                                             
Advertising and marketing     $    129,527         $    129,527     $    87,973         $    87,973     $    105,861         $    105,861    
Weibo VAS         19,498             19,498         17,239             17,239         18,873             18,873    
  Net revenues     $    149,025         $    149,025     $    105,212         $    105,212     $    124,734         $    124,734    
                                             
                  (6,610 )  (a)              (4,507 )  (a)              (7,249 )  (a)     
                  (359 )  (b)              (381 )  (b)              (364 )  (b)     
Total costs and expenses     $    123,237     $    (6,969 )   $    116,268     $    100,562     $    (4,888 )   $    95,674     $    110,836     $    (7,613 )   $    103,223    
                                             
                  6,610    (a)              4,507    (a)              7,249    (a)     
                  359    (b)              381    (b)              364    (b)     
Income from operations     $    25,788     $    6,969     $    32,757     $    4,650     $    4,888     $    9,538     $    13,898     $    7,613     $    21,511    
                                             
                  6,610    (a)                          7,249    (a)     
                  269    (b)              4,507    (a)              273    (b)     
                  7,207    (c)              287    (b)              462    (c)     
                  (267 )  (d)              (12 ) (d)             (323 )  (d)     
Net income attributable to Weibo's
  ordinary shareholders
  $    19,122     $    13,819     $    32,941     $    4,428     $    4,782     $    9,210     $    14,477     $    7,661     $    22,138    
                                             
Diluted net income per share attributable to
  Weibo’s ordinary shareholders
  $    0.09         $    0.15     $    0.02         $    0.04     $    0.07         $    0.10    
                                             
Shares used in computing  diluted                                        
  net income per share attributable to
  Weibo’s ordinary shareholders
      219,464             219,464         216,845             216,845         217,681             217,681    
                                             
Adjusted EBITDA:                                        
                                             
  Non-GAAP net income             $    32,941             $    9,210             $    22,138    
    Interest income, net                 (1,152 )               (1,766 )               (1,433 )  
    Income tax expenses                 1,242                 2,971                 1,121    
    Depreciation expenses                 4,006                 5,647                 4,696    
  Adjusted EBITDA             $    37,037             $    16,062             $    26,522    
                                             
                                             
WEIBO CORPORATION  
UNAUDITED RECONCILIATION OF NON-GAAP TO GAAP RESULTS  
(U.S. Dollars in thousands, except per share data)  
                                             
          Twelve months ended              
          December 31, 2015   December 31, 2014              
                       As adjusted               
                  Non-GAAP           Non-GAAP              
          Actual   Adjustments   Results   Actual   Adjustments   Results              
                                             
    Advertising and marketing     $    402,415         $    402,415     $    264,782         $    264,782                
    Weibo VAS         75,476             75,476         69,390             69,390                
    Net revenues     $    477,891         $    477,891     $    334,172         $    334,172                
                                             
                  (26,399 )  (a)              (13,779 )  (a)                 
                  (1,467 )  (b)              (1,211 )  (b)                 
    Total costs and expenses     $    440,388     $    (27,866 )   $    412,522     $    356,275     $    (14,990 )   $    341,285                
                                             
                                             
                  26,399    (a)              13,779    (a)                 
                  1,467    (b)              1,211    (b)                 
    Income (loss) from operations     $    37,503     $    27,866     $    65,369     $    (22,103 )   $    14,990     $    (7,113 )              
                                             
                              13,779    (a)                 
                  26,399    (a)              906    (b)                 
                  1,103    (b)              2,040    (c)                 
                  7,061    (c)              (685 )  (d)                 
                  (522 )  (d)              46,972    (e)                 
    Net income (loss) attributable to Weibo's
  ordinary shareholders
  $    34,745     $    34,041     $    68,786     $    (65,325 )   $    63,012     $    (2,313 )              
                                             
    Diluted net income (loss) per share
  attributable to Weibo’s ordinary shareholders
  $    0.16         $    0.32     $    (0.35 )       $    (0.01 )              
                                             
    Shares used in computing diluted                                      
      net income (loss) per share attributable
  to Weibo’s ordinary shareholders
      217,918             217,918         186,878             186,878                
                                             
Adjusted EBITDA:                                        
                                             
  Non-GAAP net income (loss)             $    68,786             $    (2,313 )              
    Interest income, net                 (5,528 )               (5,494 )              
    Income tax expenses                 2,958                 1,433                
    Depreciation expenses                 19,482                 21,849                
  Adjusted EBITDA             $    85,698             $    15,475                
                                             
                                             
(a)  To adjust stock-based compensation.               
(b)  To adjust amortization of intangible assets and tax provision on acquired intangible assets.              
(c)  To adjust net (gain) on the sale of investments, impairment on investments and dividend (income) from investments.              
(d)  To adjust Non-GAAP to GAAP reconciling items for the gain (loss) attributable to non-controlling interests.              
(e)  To adjust the change in fair value of investor option liability.              
                                             

 

WEIBO CORPORATION
UNAUDITED ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
(U.S. Dollars in thousands)
                     
    Three months ended   Twelve months ended
    December 31,   September 30,   December 31,
       2015         2014         2015         2015         2014   
                     
Net revenues                  
  Advertising and marketing:                  
    Advertising and marketing other than Alibaba $    81,323     $    49,957     $    73,331     $    258,765     $    157,195  
    Alibaba     48,204         38,016         32,530         143,650         107,587  
    Subtotal     129,527         87,973         105,861         402,415         264,782  
                     
  Weibo VAS     19,498         17,239         18,873         75,476         69,390  
    $    149,025     $    105,212     $    124,734     $    477,891     $    334,172  

 

Contact:
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Weibo Corporation
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Email: ir@staff.weibo.com

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