Tencent reported first quarter earnings on Wednesday that beat market expectations, fueled by its booming gaming business.
Shares in Asia’s second-most valuable public company were under pressure coming into the earnings report, with investors fearing potentially lower margins and increasing costs.
But the Chinese technology giant dispelled those fears. Here’s how it did:
- Revenues totaled 73.53 billion yuan ($11.5 billion) versus a Thomson Reuters estimate of 71.04 billion yuan. Revenues were up 48 percent year-on-year.
- Net profit came in at 23.29 billion yuan versus an estimate of 17.5 billion yuan. That represented a 61 percent year-on-year rise.
- Operating margin rose to 42 percent from 39 percent in the first quarter of last year.
Tencent has a number of different business areas, including advertising and gaming, and is the owner of China’s biggest messaging app, WeChat.
The gaming business boosted Tencent’s revenues in the quarter. Smartphone games revenues alone were up 68 percent year-on-year to 21.7 billion yuan, thanks to titles such as “Honour of Kings.” Tencent said that there was “double digit growth” in terms of daily active users for the game.
PC games revenues were flat year-on-year, but analysts said that there were tough comparisons with the first quarter of 2017, and overall the games business was in good shape.
“The most important thing is the halo effect coming through in gaming,” Neil Campling, co-head of the global thematic group at Mirabaud Securities, told CNBC by phone on Wednesday.
The broader online game business was driven by two major hit games. The first is called “PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds” or PUBG, which is a massive multiplayer online game. Tencent has the rights to run the game in China but said that it is “yet to be monetized,” highlighting the potential future of the title.
“Fortnite” is the second game driving Tencent’s strong quarter. It’s a tournament-style game that is popular in e-sports, which is competitive video gaming. “Fortnite” was developed by Epic Games, a company that Tencent has a large stake in.
The game has gone viral and has over 40 million monthly active users across PC and consoles. It is also on mobile too. Currently unavailable in China, it will be launched in the country within the next few months.
“What you are seeing is the ‘Fortnite’ effect, bringing lots of new gamers into e-gaming arena,” Campling said.
Source: Tech CNBC
Tencent profit up 61 percent as booming games business drives first quarter earnings