Thursday, April 27, 2006

SOHU Q106 Report

SOHU.com reported yet another good quarter, beating its own guidance and street forecasts.

Advertising: I have been checking its web sites regularly, found a strong online ad momentum after Chinese New Year. Autos, computers, cell phones, other electronics, and real estate are the strongest categories. Also given that SOHU has a network of web sites, it is good to see that some of those sites started picking up ad revenue as well, such as ChinaRen.com. As Chinese economy continues growing(though many have been afraid of a 'slowdown', it will still grow much faster than the western world), it is reasonable to believe more advertising money will migrate from offline to online. SOHU still has a lot of inventory to handle more volume. The Company guides for 25% YoY ad revenue growth for 2006, I think they are trying to be conservative, and I believe 30% YoY growth is quite possible.

Search: The Company said search traffic to Sogou.com is up 50% sequentially. Although I disliked this search engine in the past, I noticed they have improved a lot recently. Although I think Sogou is still behind Baidu and Google in terms of search quality, the gap has been narrowed. It is good for SOHU shareholders to see more usage of SOGOU search engine. However, going forward, the search engine war in China will be a tough one, my feeling is that finally one winner will take a majority market share, with other minor players fight for remaining shares. Google and Baidu are very formidable players.

Wireless: Wireless has been on the way of slow recovery, and I think it will continue this trend.

That said, I believe SOHU is still the best pick to get Chinese Internet advertising exposure. My 12-month expectation has been increased from 27$ to 29$. Also, I feel attempted to say my 27$ price target, which I called seven months ago when the stock was trading around 16$, may soon be hit.

I sold my SOHU shares last month, I am still looking for a good entry point to get back in.

Here is my updated revenue model, I did not get time to set up 2007 projections yet, I may do so after next quarterly report.


SOHUQ106 Posted by Picasa

21 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sohu is fairly priced now. I also sold my shares this week prior to the earnings because it met my target of $27. Overall it is a solid company with a dversified portfolio of product, similar to YAHOO. However, this is a very competitive marker in China now, otheres will not just sit and watch. TOMO, SINA, NTES will all catch up. It's not going to be a steady uptrend for SOHU all the way to 2008, as it did in the past few months. I'm waiting for an entry point also. Another factor is that these companies business can be largely affected by the government policy, which can change overnight without any warnings, therefore, risks is fairly high.

I'm intersted in your projections of the price for SOHU. I think 1 year target from now should be $40.

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