知乎(2390.HK):多引擎驱动增长 大模型赋能智能社区

Zhihu (2390.HK): A Big Model for Multi-Engine Driven Growth Empowers Intelligent Communities

國泰君安 ·  12/01/2023

Maintain the “increase in holdings” rating and update the target price of HK$22.78. The company's third-quarter results were in line with expectations, revenue grew steadily, losses narrowed, and the launch of the big model was fully empowered. Taking into account fluctuations in marketing demand and cost optimization, adjusted net profit for 2023-2025 was adjusted to -7.6/-17/280 million yuan (previous value was -7.3/-0.4/350 million yuan, same below). PS 1.0X/0.8X/0.7X, combined with the unanimous expectations of comparable company Bloomberg, gave 24E PS1.5X, with an updated target price of HK$22.78.

Revenue continued to grow steadily, and the adjusted net loss was better than expected. The company's 3Q23 achieved revenue of 1,022 million yuan, +12% year-on-year, revenue in line with market expectations, and steady growth driven by paid membership and vocational training; gross profit margin of 54%, year-on-year +5pct, flat month-on-month, thanks to accelerated commercialization and reduced server bandwidth costs; adjusted net profit -225 million yuan, -10% year-on-year, and expected to achieve a net profit balance of -22%, year-on-year +5pct, losses were better than market expectations; multi-revenue engines and improved operating efficiency led to a 24-year profit balance。

High quality content drives MAU to new heights, and big model openness empowers intelligent communities. The company's 3Q23 average MAU was 111 million people, +14% year over year and +1% month on month. MAU growth reached a new high; by the end of the third quarter, the total number of content categories was 744 million, +28.4% year on year, and the average number of monthly subscribers was 14.8 million, +35.9% year over year. The supply of high-quality content led to an increase in subscription scale. On November 4, the “Zhihaitu AI” large-scale model with 100 billion parameters announced the opening of services to the public. By optimizing the user and creator experience, it is expected to enrich the supply of high-quality content and drive commercial growth.

Membership growth is under pressure to improve marketing services, and the momentum for rich vocational education courses is strong. In 3Q23, the company achieved paid membership revenue of 467 million yuan, +39% year-on-year, and membership revenue continued to grow rapidly. Among them, the number of members and ARPPU of members continued to grow positively; marketing service revenue was 383 million yuan, -17% year-on-year, and the decline increased month-on-month. Marketing service revenue continued to be under pressure. The search volume during the Double 11 period was +188%, and CCS revenue reached a record high. Q4 marketing services are expected to gradually recover as demand picks up; vocational training revenue is 145 million yuan, +86%, and flat month-on-month, and the growth momentum of vocational education business is strong. The range of courses continues to be rich, and the education business has achieved high-quality growth through category expansion, integration and efficiency, and AI; other revenue is 28 million yuan, -24% over the same period last year.

Risk warning: slow advertising recovery; demand for vocational training falls short of expectations; weak cost control, etc.

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