知乎(02390.HK):用户付费持续增长 关注降本增效进展

Zhihu (02390.HK): User payments continue to increase, focus on progress in cost reduction and efficiency

東北證券 ·  06/03/2022  · Researches

Event: On May 25, 2022, Zhihu released its performance report for the first quarter of '22. 22Q1 achieved revenue of 743 million yuan, a year-on-year increase of 55.4%, and a year-on-year decrease of 27.1%. Net loss was $614 million, compared to a loss of $325 million for the same period last year, and an adjusted net loss of $367 million.


The “sense of acquisition” strategy enhances the user experience and promotes the continuous growth of the company's member business. The company's membership business had revenue of 222 million yuan in 22Q1, an increase of 75.1% over the previous year, and an increase of 6.2% over the previous year; of these, the number of paying users reached about 6.9 million, and ARPU reached 34.22 yuan. By continuously promoting the content strategy, increasing users' “sense of acquisition”, the company's willingness to pay further increased, and the membership payment rate continued to grow. As of 22Q1, the monthly payment rate for the company's membership business was 6.79%, an increase of 0.89 pcts over the previous month.

The advertising and commercial solutions business has been affected by the pandemic, and there is still room for the company's commercialization potential. Affected by the pandemic and related derivative factors, the growth of the company's advertising and commercial solutions business slowed down. Among them, advertising business revenue increased 1.7% year on year, down 42.5% month on month; commercial solutions business revenue increased 87.7% year on year, down 38.3% month on month; marketing-related business was affected by advertisers' budgets and declined month-on-month. As the epidemic situation in Shanghai improved in May, we expect business to recover in the third quarter.

Vocational education is expected to boost income. The company's vocational education revenue for 22Q1 was 39.5 million yuan, compared to 3.9 million yuan for the same period in '21. Vocational education revenue increased significantly. In 2021, the company acquired 55% of the shares in vocational education and 55% of the shares in educational institutions studying abroad. Vocational education matches the relatively strong knowledge culture of the company community, and there is some synergy in strategy.

To reduce costs and increase efficiency, the company's costs and expenses are expected to improve. The company expects to break down barriers between businesses, improve operational efficiency, and reduce operating costs through improvements in internal management. At the same time, the company's personnel are expected to be reduced. As the company advances in cost reduction and efficiency, the cost side will improve markedly.

Investment advice: Considering the impact of the macroeconomic environment and the pandemic on the advertising and commercial solutions business and the improvements brought about by the company's drive to reduce costs and increase efficiency, we expect the company's revenue from 2022-2024 to be RMB 41.51, 60.09 billion, and RMB 8.134 billion, respectively, and net profit of -1,788, -6.97, and 194 million yuan respectively. For the first time, it was covered and given a “buy” rating.

Risk Warning: Macroeconomics falls short of expectations; strengthened industry regulation

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