Stock of Opera Rebounds on Doubled Revenue After Short Seller Report

The founder of China-backed browser developer called the solid financial result the most effective rebuttal to the short seller.

Belinda Zhou
    Feb 25, 2020 9:45 AM  PT
Stock of Opera Rebounds on Doubled Revenue After Short Seller Report
author: Belinda Zhou   

Browser developers Opera Ltd. (Nasdaq: OPRA) announced its better-than-expected top-line growth Tuesday, sending its stock in New York up 8% in the early trading.

The Norway-based company said its net revenues in the fourth quarter of 2019 reached $129.6 million, up 158% from one year ago. Net income hit $22 million, or 18 cents per American depositary share, up 93% year-over-year in the fourth quarter.

Opera reported net revenue of $335 million for 2019, which exceeded the company's top-end of guidance range. Guidance figures were in the range of $220 million and $230 million.

"Today we announce full-year results that include over $100 million of revenue above the top of our initial range, and an acceleration of our full-year growth trajectory from 34% in 2018 to 94% in 2019," Frode Jacobsen, the chief financial officer of the company, said.

Looking ahead, Opera said in its annual report Tuesday that it expects its revenues in 2020 to be $530 million to $560 million, which represents nearly 63% growth from 2019. It also announced 2020 adjusted EBITDA of $70 to $80 million in the same report.

The company added users by 5% from one year ago by the fourth quarter to 355 million monthly active users. 

The China-backed internet company expanded internationally with its headquarters in Oslo, Norway. Opera's key market continues to be Europe, although it is exploring emerging markets, particuarly on the African continent; the company teamed up with local leading telcos to launch data plans in Nigeria.

"Early results have been promising and we will be scaling these efforts and working with more telcos across Africa in the next several quarters," Song Lin, the chief operating officer of Opera, said in the statement. 

The company's founder, Yahui Zhou, founded the listed gaming company Kunlun China.

"In addition to being Opera's chairman and CEO, I am also the company's largest investor. I appreciate the enthusiasm and support from our investors that have invested along with me," Zhou said in the statement.

Opera stocks were down 19% to $7.33 per share after a critical report issued by Hindenburg Research on Jan. 16 and then rebounded.

Shares in Opera were trading at $7.69 apiece, up 8% intraday Tuesday.