Tencent Sees Profit on Smartphone Games, WeChat Now Has 980 Million Users

Tencent Sees Profit on Smartphone Games, WeChat Now Has 980 Million Users

Chinese Internet giant Tencent Holdings Ltd on Wednesday posted a 69 percent jump in quarterly net profit, beating expectations, on strong smartphone games revenue.

Net profit for the three months ended September rose to CNY 18 billion ($2.72 billion), China’s largest social media and gaming company said in a filing to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

This was above an average estimate of CNY 15.18 billion from six analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.

Revenue rose 61 percent to 65 billion yuan, against an estimate of CNY 60.78 billion.

Monthly active users of the social media mobile app WeChat hit 980 million, up from 963 million three months ago.

Revenue from smartphone games, helped by its popular title Honour of Kings, grew by 84 percent to CNY 18.2 billion in the quarter, Tencent said in the filing.


Snapchat IPO Pursuit Sees US Exchanges Rent Helicopters, Drape Banners

Snapchat IPO Pursuit Sees US Exchanges Rent Helicopters, Drape Banners

This past November, Nasdaq Inc hired a helicopter to film Manhattan’s skyline using Snapchat’s new video-camera sunglasses and sent the aerial footage to its social media followers.

The New York Stock Exchange – its arch-rival – on the same day tweeted a video shot from the floor of its exchange, showing that it too was using the social media giant’s gadget.

The scramble to promote Snapchat’s “spectacles” is revealing the fierce competition between the two exchanges to host initial public offerings (IPOs) of prominent technology startups.

Experts say the contest is less about the fees exchanges generate from such listings than it is about bragging rights.

“Sometimes exchanges go to relatively extraordinary lengths in order to attract a high-profile new listing,” said Lise Buyer, a principal with the IPO advisory firm Class V Group.

ALSO SEESnapchat IPO Filed for Confidentially

Snap Inc, Snapchat’s parent company, is eyeing a spring debut that may peg its value as high as $25 billion, sources have told Reuters. It would be the biggest US tech IPO since Facebook Inc in 2012.

The listing would likely only generate a few hundred thousand dollars in annual fees, but Snap’s IPO carries prestige that could help an exchange win future business.

The popular messaging service is just one of many private technology companies expected to go public in the next year or two, including peer-to-peer lodging company AirBnB Inc and streaming music service Spotify.

“Competition among the exchanges is fierce and winning large, marquee companies can have a halo effect that results in future listings business,” said Alex Wellins, co-founder of IPO advisory and investor relations firm Blueshirt Group.

Snapchat is discussing a potential listing with both Nasdaq and NYSE, which is owned by Intercontinental Exchange Inc, and has not made a decision yet, people familiar with the situation told Reuters. Snapchat, Nasdaq and NYSE declined to comment.

Flashy promos
Exchanges, much like investment banks, often begin courting high-profile companies long before they are ready to list.

Nasdaq and NYSE compete over their technology, fees, reputation and support services for investor and public relations. Their marketing includes buying advertising in publications and outdoor signage for the companies, IPO advisers said.

Up until now, the efforts to land even the most high profile IPOs – such as Facebook and Twitter – happened largely behind the scenes, with theatrics saved for listing day celebrations.

For instance, NYSE once let a monkey ride a horse around its trading floor to mimic E*Trade Financial’s television commercial when the online broker switched exchanges in 2001. The listing for E-trade has since returned to Nasdaq.

In 2015, Nasdaq built a 60-foot pool in Times Square for a canine aquatics competition to celebrate the listing of dog food company Blue Buffalo Pet Products Inc.

With a public platform such as Snapchat though, the exchanges want to show they understand and support the technology while they are still competing for the listing. Having their products used by the exchanges can also be an important signal of their loyalty, said Pat Healy, chief executive of Issuer Advisory Group, who has advised companies such as Facebook, Zillow and Groupon on where to list.

“I’ll do business with you if you give me the listing. I’ll buy advertising in your newspaper. I’ll fly your airline. I’ll use your computer system,” Healy said, describing the types of promises exchanges make.

To be sure, a strong social media presence is important for both the exchanges, and both use many social media platforms to promote themselves and the companies that list with them.

Rolling out the banner
For Nasdaq, a Snapchat win would help redeem itself from famously bumbling Facebook’s IPO with massive technology errors.

Long known as the home for tech IPOs, the Facebook fiasco put Nasdaq on the defensive. The exchange commanded 85 percent of technology IPO proceeds in 2012, but by 2014 that plunged to 11 percent, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Nasdaq has since recouped a sizeable chunk of those losses but it has been a slow period for tech IPOs. The last high-profile US Internet company to go public, Twitter Inc, joined NYSE in 2013.

Still, with fewer companies going public, the stakes are getting higher to lure listings.

Josh Machiz, a Nasdaq executive focused on its social media efforts, said the exchange chose to rent the helicopter because it wanted to come up with something “exciting and thoughtful” for the launch of Snapchat’s first hardware product. He declined to comment on any effort to win the Snap IPO.

As for NYSE, it draped a large, bright yellow banner outside its Lower Manhattan building to invite Snapchat followers in October, the same month media reported Snapchat had hired underwriters. Such banners are usually reserved to celebrate the first listing day of companies.

© Thomson Reuters 2017

Tags: Snapchat, Snapchat IPO, Snap Inc, US, US Stock Exchange, Apps, Social

Yahoo India Year in Review 2016 Sees Sportwomen as Top News Makers

Yahoo India Year in Review 2016 Sees Sportwomen as Top News Makers
Sindhu and Karmakar took the number one and two spots
Narendra Modi again emerged as the “most searched politician”
“The Unnamed Soldier” emerged as the “personality of the year”
Indian sportswomen who won laurels and dominated the headlines during the Rio Olympics pipped all other contenders in 2016 to emerge as the top news makers in the country, Yahoo announced on Thursday.

“The list of top news makers is usually ruled by politicians and Bollywood stars but in 2016, it saw the entry of P.V. Sindhu, Sakshi Malik, Dipa Karmakar and wrestler Vinesh Phogat,” Yahoo said in a statement.

These sportswomen also pipped cricketers in the “most searched sportsperson” category, with Sindhu and Karmakar at number one and two spots, respectively.

Sachin Tendulkar, MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli were the only cricketers who made it to the top 10 list.

However, Indians’ all-consuming obsession with cricket continued with ‘IPL 2016’ becoming the most searched newsy term, followed by Rio Olympics.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi again emerged as the “most searched politician”, followed by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
“The Unnamed Soldier” who remained perennially at the forefront of national consciousness emerged as the “personality of the year”.
“From thwarting a terrorist infiltration into the Pathankot Air Force Station to facing September’s militant attack in Uri that led to a precise and surgical retaliation from India, or being in the midst of the controversy surrounding the One Rank-One Pension scheme, the soldier was in the news all year long,” Yahoo said.

For the fifth consecutive year, former adult movie actor Sunny Leone reigned supreme among the “most searched female celebrities” in showbiz.

yahoo year in review infographic Year in Review

Tags: Yahoo India Year in Review 2016, Sports, Sportswomen, Rio Olympics, News Makers, Internet, India


Super Mario Run Release Date Announcement Sees Nintendo Shares Spike

Super Mario Run Release Date Announcement Sees Nintendo Shares Spike

Shares in gaming giant Nintendo jumped more than five percent Wednesday after details of the launch for its keenly awaited new Super Mario game for iPhones were released, hot on the heels of the Pokemon craze.

Kyoto-based Nintendo said it would release Super Mario Run worldwide for Apple’s iPhone and iPad through the App Store on December 15.

The firm’s stock price soared as much as 5.5 percent at one point before easing slightly to close up 2.77 percent at JPY 25,550 on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

Super Mario, which dates to 1985, is one of Nintendo’s best-known and most instantly recognisable brands.

It is so associated with Japan that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in August appeared at the Rio Olympics’ closing ceremony in the mustachioed plumber’s red hat and blue overalls to promote Tokyo’s 2020 Games.

The full app would cost $9.99 in the United States and JPY 1,200 ($10.95) in Japan, although limited elements of the game would be available for free.Nintendo’s shares more than doubled in July – making it more valuable than Sony at one point – as its Pokemon Go game exploded into the public consciousness, being downloaded half a billion times.

However, because the firm did not own the licence to the game – that is owned by San Francisco-based Niantic – its success had little impact on the firm’s bottom line.

But while its share price has dipped back slightly over the past few months, it is still up two-thirds from lows seen before the emergence of Pokemon Go.

‘Can’t wait’
Neil Campling, an analyst at Northern Trust Capital Markets, hailed the company’s approach of enticing gamers in the same way as other mobile game successes as “a great strategy”.

“To set a low incentive and then a low total cost when engaged could set Nintendo on a differentiated path, which ultimately could be a game changer,” Campling said.

The game will be introduced for Android-based devices at a later date.

Social media reaction in Japan to the game’s price was positive.

“Once you pay 1,200 yen, you don’t have to pay extra money,” one fan said on Twitter. “That’s cheap. Can’t wait.”

Nintendo has already said that any potential earnings impact from Super Mario Run has already been factored into its forecast for the present fiscal year.

Nintendo warned last month that its operating profit would come in at 30 billion yen for the financial year, about one-third less than an earlier forecast, while sales would also be lower than expected.

After years of refusing to move into the smartphone sector, Nintendo – which also created the Donkey Kong and Legend of Zelda brands – announced last year it was teaming up with Japanese mobile specialist DeNA to develop games for the handsets based on its host of popular characters.

And in March, the company released its first mobile game “Miitomo” – a free-to-play and interactive game that allows users to create avatars – as it tries to compete in an industry that has increasingly moved online.

However, it remains committed to its console business and last Thursday launched a palm-sized version of its 1980s-era games console the Famicom, while it also plans to unveil another device early next year.

Tags: Super Mario Run Android, Super Mario Run, Apps, Gaming, Apple, Nintendo