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Weibo Beats Profit Estimates and Names New Senior Executives

By Denise Jia / Mar 19, 2021 04:32 AM / Business & Tech

Social media platform Weibo Corp., China’s Twitter equivalent, reported a 70% drop in profit for the fourth quarter Thursday despite a 10% year-over-year increase in revenue, but its non-GAAP results still beat analysts’ estimates.

For the 2021 first quarter, Weibo said it expects net revenues to increase by 25% to 30% year-over-year on a constant currency basis.

The company also announced the appointment of Wang Wei as chief operating officer, a new position. Wang joined Sina Corp., Weibo’s parent company, in 2000.

Weibo named interim Chief Financial Officer Cao Fei to assume the role permanently, filling a position vacant since former CFO Herman Yu resigned in 2017. Cao has served as vice president of finance since August 2017.

For the three months ended Dec. 30, the company’s net income plunged to $29 million from $95.1 million a year earlier. Non-GAAP net income attributable to Weibo was $212.7 million, or $0.92 a share, up from $0.77 in 2019. Revenues rose to $513.4 million from $468.1 million.

Weibo said its costs and expenses increased by 5%, primarily because of higher personnel costs and stepped-up spending on marketing. It also had $5.8 million less in income tax benefits in the fourth quarter, reflecting the recognition of preferential tax treatment for certain subsidiaries, as well as a reversal of recognition of deferred tax liabilities in prior periods related to certain investments.

For fiscal year 2020, Weibo’s total revenues were $1.69 billion, down 4% from 2019. Net income for 2020 was $313.4 million, down 37% from 2019.

The number of monthly active users was 521 million in December 2020, a net addition of about 5 million from a year earlier.

Contact reporter Denise Jia (huijuanjia@caixin.com) and editor Bob Simison (bobsimison@caixin.com).

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