The company published its 2022 report. The company achieved revenue of 3.6 billion yuan in 2022, an increase of 21.8% over the previous year; net loss/adjusted net loss was 1,58/ 1.2 billion yuan, an increase of 28/450 million yuan over the same period last year.
Community: Focus on community ecological construction
Under the ecology-first strategy, the company continuously optimized the operation of acquired content, and achieved a slight increase in users. By the end of '22, the company had 506 million questions and answers, covering more than 1,000 vertical fields. The company's MAU reached 110 million in '22, an increase of 5.6% over the previous year.
Commercialization: Rapid growth in paid memberships and vocational training
The company's commercialization potential continues to be unleashed, and the paid membership business and vocational training continue to rise. 1) Paid members: The company's paid membership business revenue in '22 was 1.2 billion yuan, an increase of 84% over the previous year. The number of paying users reached 9.8 million, an increase of 93% over the previous year. 2) Vocational training: Under a low base, the company's business achieved rapid growth. Revenue reached 248 million yuan in '22, an increase of 400% over the previous year. 3) Content commercialization solutions: Despite the negative impact of the pandemic on advertiser delivery, the company's business continued to grow. The company's CCS revenue increased 5.8% year-on-year to 1.03 billion yuan in '22, highlighting resilience. 4) Advertising business: Affected by the macro environment, advertising business revenue was 926 million yuan, a year-on-year decrease of 20%.
Losses expanded in '22, and Q4 cost reduction and efficiency continued to progress
The company's net loss increased year-on-year in '22, mainly because while the company achieved a steady increase in revenue, related content costs and marketing expenses also increased. The Q4 company continued to reduce costs and increase efficiency, focusing on core business. Gross profit increased dramatically, and the net loss ratio narrowed further. The Q4 company's gross margin increased 9.3pct to 56.4% year over year. At the same time, the expense ratio continued to narrow, so the net loss rate continued to improve. The marketing/management/R&D expenses ratio of Q4 companies was 46%/11%/19%, respectively, a year-on-year decrease of 0.4%/6%/1%, respectively; the net loss rate/adjusted net loss ratio was 15.9%/12%, respectively, narrowing 22/12pct from the previous year.
Profit Forecasts, Valuations, and Ratings
We expect the company's revenue for 2023-25 to be 45/556.3 billion yuan respectively, with corresponding growth rates of 26%/21%/14% respectively, non-GAAP net profit of -3.39/0.05/358 million yuan respectively, and the corresponding non-GAAP EPS of -1.04/0.01/1.1 respectively. As the company's commercial value continues to be released, the superimposed advertising business is expected to grow as the economy recovers. Referring to comparable company valuations, we gave the company 1.8 times PS for 23 years, with a target price of 25 yuan (HK$29). Maintain a “buy” rating.
Risk warning: risk of macroeconomic slowdown, risk of content regulation, risk of loss of core users, etc.