IQiyi, China's Netflix, Announces Better-than-expected First Quarter Earnings

Looking ahead, the company said it expected revenue for the second quarter of 2018 to be between $924 million and $963.1 million.

CapitalWatch Staff
    Apr 26, 2018 6:10 PM  PT
IQiyi, China's Netflix, Announces Better-than-expected First Quarter Earnings
author: CapitalWatch Staff   

Baidu's video-streaming unit iQiyi Inc. (Nasdaq: IQ) announced after the market closed Thursday better-than-expected earnings for the first quarter, saying revenue increased nearly 57 percent to $777.6 million.

The big jump in revenue was primarily driven by a series of premium original content titles released in the first quarter, for example, a famous Chinese dance competition show called "Hot Blood Dance Crew," as well as various initiatives the company rolled out during the Chinese New Year holiday. 

Moreover, the company said its net loss narrowed in this first quarter to 395.7 million yuan ($63.1 million), or 31 cents per fully diluted share, compared with a loss of 1.1 billion yuan ($169 million) in the same period in 2017. 

"Both of our major business pillars, advertising services and membership services, generated significant growth driven by our premium content, especially a series of successful self-produced variety shows launched during the quarter," said Yu Gong, founder and CEO of iQiyi. "Going forward, we will continue to strategically allocate our resources and bandwidth to original content production and technology innovation as we aspire to become a technology-based entertainment giant."

"Our strong first quarter performance was marked by a 57% year-over-year growth in total revenues, and better-than-expected improvement on our bottom line," commented Xiaodong Wang, chief financial officer of iQiyi. "The financial results reflect enhanced monetization and operating efficiency across our various business lines during the quarter."

Looking ahead, the company said it expected revenue for the second quarter of 2018 to be between $924 million and $963.1 million, representing a 42 to 48 percent increase from the same period in 2017. 

Shares in iQiyi closed Thursday at $18.75 per share, up 74 cents.

This is the company's first financial report released after it made its debut in New York earlier this year in one of the largest public offerings by a Chinese tech company in the past two years in the U.S. Baidu, China's top search engine, is iQiyi's controlling shareholder, owning all of the super-voting Class B shares, giving it voting control of more than 93 percent of the company.

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