The company announced its 2023Q1 financial report, achieving revenue of 5.070 billion yuan (YoY +0.3%, QoQ -17%), operating losses of 1,375 million yuan (YoY narrowed 31%, QoQ narrowed 41%), and Guimu's net profit loss was 628 million yuan (YoY narrowed 72%, QoQ narrowed 58%). NON-GAAP net profit loss was $1,031 million (YoY narrowed 38%, QoQ narrowed 22%), and adjusted diluted loss of $3.31 per diluted share (YoY narrowed 40.24%, QoQ narrowed 24.17%).
Our point of view:
1. Operation situation: 2023Q1 has 315 million monthly active users, with an average daily usage time of 96 minutes, an increase of 1% over the previous year; the platform continues to provide users with high-quality video content that is rich in categories and covers multiple scenarios to increase user stickiness and community activity. The number of monthly active content posts continues to grow rapidly year over year. Story-Mode brings new traffic to the platform. The diversified content ecosystem and increased commercialization level drive the improvement of UP's main monetization capabilities to further optimize the quality of community content.
2. Main financial indicators: Revenue was slightly lower than expected, adjusted net loss was better than expected, gross margin continued to be optimized month-on-month, sales expenses ratio decreased 7 pct year over year, optimized 3 pct month-on-month, and adjusted net loss narrowed 38% year over year.
3. Mobile game business: 2023Q1 revenue fell 17% year-on-year to 1.13 billion yuan, mainly due to the lack of newly launched games this quarter. The company has a rich game reserve in '23, and will soon launch “Shine! Games such as “The Handsome Girl”, “Shake It Up: Gone with the Wind”, and “Elu Hill: Starlight Dawn” are expected to drive a recovery in the game business.
4. Value-added business: 2023Q1's revenue increased 5% year-on-year to 2.196 billion yuan. The increase in platform traffic, the variety of live streaming categories, and the transformation of more and more UP hosts into anchors led to rapid growth in the live streaming business. Over 750,000 UP hosts earned revenue through live streaming; high-quality OGV content continued to attract users to pay and convert. By the end of 23Q1, the number of members on Site B reached 2020 million, of which more than 80% were annual members or automatically renewed users.
5. Advertising and e-commerce business: 2023Q1 advertising revenue increased 22% year on year to 1,272 million yuan, and the growth rate continued to lead the industry. The continuous optimization of advertising products at Station B led to a continuous improvement in advertising efficiency. Effective advertising revenue increased by more than 50% year on year; e-commerce business revenue was 501 million yuan, down 15% year on year, mainly affected by the decline in derivatives sales.
Profit forecasts and investment ratings took into account that macroeconomic recovery fell short of expectations, the impact of the game product cycle, and some low margin business adjustments. We slightly lowered our 2023 revenue forecast. The company's FY2023-2025 revenue is estimated to be 241/298/35.6 billion yuan respectively, and NON-GAAP net profit to the mother is 31/-4/10 billion; the corresponding SPS is 58/72/86 yuan, and the corresponding PS is 1.9x/1.6x/1.3x respectively. The company's active users continue to grow, and participation and retention rates are steadily improving. We believe that there is great potential for continued expansion of user traffic and accelerated monetization. We gave their 2023 target MAU a valuation of RMB 200, corresponding to a target market value of RMB 48.2 billion, and a SOTP valuation of RMB 70.8 billion, corresponding to the target market capitalization of RMB 61.9 billion, and Target Price 2023 at HK$149/165, maintaining the “buy” rating.
Risks suggest that macroeconomic growth falls short of expectations, game version acquisition, game development and launch falls short of expected risks, increased competition risks, risk of loss of users, risk of Internet valuation adjustments, policy supervision risks, etc.