Sogou Announces Third Quarter 2018 Results

BEIJING, Nov. 5, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Sogou Inc. (NYSE: SOGO) ("Sogou" or "the Company"), an innovator in search and a leader in China's internet industry, today announced its unaudited financial results for the third quarter 2018, ended September 30, 2018.

Third Quarter 2018 Highlights

  • Total revenues1 were $276.6 million, a 7% increase year-over-year.
  • Net income attributable to Sogou Inc. was $23.9 million, a 23% decrease year-over-year. Non-GAAP2 net income attributable to Sogou Inc. was $28.0 million, a 10% decrease year-over-year.
  • Sogou Mobile Keyboard had 405 million DAUs (daily average users), up 32% year-over-year. As China's largest voice app, it processed up to 500 million daily voice requests.

 

"In the third quarter, we recorded healthy growth in our core businesses," said Xiaochuan Wang, CEO of Sogou. "As the second largest search engine by mobile queries in China, we continued to grow our core search revenues faster than the industry average. Driven by our commitment to providing users with reliable, trustworthy information to help them address their key problems, we further enriched our search platform with high-quality content for popular verticals such as healthcare. This drove a significant year-over-year increase in mobile healthcare queries."

"For our mobile keyboard business, we continued to leverage AI-driven innovation to make it more efficient for users to communicate. These AI initiatives enabled us to achieve solid growth in both our user base and market share. In the third quarter, Sogou Mobile Keyboard continued to cement its position as both the leading mobile keyboard as well as China's largest and most popular voice app. According to iResearch, Sogou Mobile Keyboard remained the third largest mobile app in China."

Mr. Wang added, "During the quarter, we increased our investments in the development of our industry-leading AI technologies and continued to integrate them into Sogou Search, Sogou Mobile Keyboard and our smart hardware products. We are committed to driving the development of language-centric AI technology and are confident this will enable us to fuel the sustainable growth of our platform."

Joe Zhou, CFO of Sogou, said, "Our third-quarter revenues reached $276.6 million, in line with expectations, with core search revenues up 13% year-over-year. Going forward, we expect to see long-term, sustainable growth in our search business as we continue to deliver on our strategy of differentiation. We are also confident that, while near term smart hardware sales will be impacted, our upgraded smart hardware strategy will better position us to create more competitive products and drive long term growth in this segment."  

Third Quarter 2018 Financial Results

Total revenues were $276.6 million, a 7% increase year-over-year.

  • Search and search-related revenues3 were $255.3 million, a 13% increase year-over-year. The increase was primarily due to growth in auction-based pay-for-click services, driven by improved monetization and continued traffic growth in mobile search. There was a one-time adverse impact from a 10-day suspension of a portion of the Company's advertising services in early July that was implemented to ensure compliance with government regulations. As previously announced, the measures were taken following a government investigation into certain non-compliant advertisements displayed on Sogou's platform in June 2018. Auction-based pay-for-click services accounted for 82.7% of search and search-related revenues, compared to 83.8% in the corresponding period in 2017.
  • Other revenues were $21.3 million, a 33% decrease year-over-year. The decrease was primarily due to lower sales of smart hardware products following a decision to upgrade the smart hardware strategy to better leverage Sogou's AI capabilities and improve product competitiveness. During the quarter, the Company continued to phase out hardware products that are not AI-enabled and focus resources on developing products that integrate its leading AI technologies.

Cost of revenues was $173.6 million, a 33% increase year-over-year. Traffic acquisition cost, a primary driver of cost of revenues, was $135.2 million, a 58% increase year-over-year, representing 48.9% of total revenues, compared to 33.3% in the corresponding period in 2017. The increase was driven by price inflation as a result of increased competition.

Gross profit was $102.9 million, a 19% decrease year-over-year. Non-GAAP gross profit was $103.2 million, a 19% decrease year-over-year.

Total operating expenses were $109.7 million, a 20% increase year-over-year.

  • Research and development expenses were $50.6 million, a 26% increase year-over-year, representing 18.3% of total revenues, compared to 15.7% in the corresponding period in 2017. The increase was primarily due to an increase in salary and benefits expenses, and share based compensation expense, reflecting continued efforts to strengthen AI capabilities.
  • Sales and marketing expenses were $43.6 million, a 3% decrease year-over-year, representing 15.8% of total revenues, compared to 17.4% in the corresponding period in 2017. The decrease was primarily attributable to a decrease in marketing and promotional spending on some of the Company's mobile products.
  • General and administrative expenses were $15.5 million, a 149% increase year-over-year, representing 5.6% of total revenues, compared to 2.4% in the corresponding period in 2017. The increase was primarily due to a provision for loan losses as the Company extended more consumer loans through its internet finance platform, as well as an increased inventory impairment loss related to smart hardware products.

Operating loss was $6.8 million, compared to operating income of $35.7 million in the corresponding period in 2017. Non-GAAP operating loss was $2.7 million, compared to non-GAAP operating income of $36.0 million in the corresponding period in 2017.

Other income, net was $24.0 million, compared with zero in the corresponding period in 2017. The increase was primarily due to a $17.8 million gain from one of the Company's equity investments recognized under a new accounting standard (ASC321) that became effective on January 1, 2018.

Income tax benefit was $0.4 million, compared to income tax expense of $4.6 million in the corresponding quarter of 2017. The income tax benefit resulted from a new tax incentive to encourage R&D investments. Under new PRC regulations issued in September 2018 and applicable retroactively beginning January 1, 2018, more R&D expenses become eligible for further deduction from taxable income.

Net income attributable to Sogou Inc. was $23.9 million, a 23% decrease year-over-year. Non-GAAP net income attributable to Sogou Inc. was $28.0 million, a 10% decrease year-over-year.

Basic earnings per ADS and diluted earnings per ADS were $0.06. Non-GAAP basic and diluted earnings per ADS were $0.07.

As of September 30, 2018, the Company had cash and cash equivalents and short-term investments of $1.1 billion, compared with $1.0 billion as of December 31, 2017. Net loans receivable in the amount of $33.9 million represented amounts receivable under small consumer loans extended through the Company's internet finance platform. Net operating cash inflow for the third quarter of 2018 was $85.3 million. Capital expenditures for the third quarter of 2018 were $22.2 million.

Recent developments

On October 19, 2018, Mr. Joseph Chen resigned as a member of the board of directors of the Company (the "Board") and as a member of the audit committee of the Board (the "Audit Committee") for personal reasons. Ms. Jinmei He was appointed by the Company's controlling shareholder Sohu.com Limited ("Sohu") to serve on the Board as a Sohu designee pursuant to the Company's articles of association, effective October 19, 2018, and was appointed by the Board to be a member of the Audit Committee, effective November 3, 2018.

Ms. He joined Sohu in 1997 and served as a Vice President in charge of the online gaming business from 2002 to 2005. She has been a self-employed investor in the public equity markets and in real estate in the United States since 2005. Ms. He received a Bachelor of Civil Engineering from Southwest Jiaotong University.

Business Outlook

For the fourth quarter of 2018, Sogou expects total revenues to be in the range $292 million to $307 million, representing a 5% to 11% increase year-over-year, or an 11% to 17% increase year-over-year in RMB terms.

For the fourth quarter 2018 guidance, the Company has adopted a presumed exchange rate of RMB 7.00 = $1.00, as compared with the actual exchange rate of approximately RMB6.61 = $1.00 for the fourth quarter of 2017, and RMB 6.81 = $1.00 for the third quarter of 2018.

 

1 On a constant currency (non-GAAP) basis, if the exchange rate in the third quarter of 2018 had been
the same as it was in the third quarter of 2017, or RMB 6.66=$1.00, total revenues in the third quarter
of 2018 would have been $282.6 million, or $6.0 million more than GAAP total revenues, and up 10%
year-over-year.

2 Non-GAAP results exclude share-based compensation expense. Explanation of the Company's non-
GAAP financial measures and related reconciliations to GAAP financial measures are included in the
accompanying "Non-GAAP Disclosure" and "Reconciliations of Non-GAAP Results of Operation
Measures to the Nearest Comparable GAAP Measures."

3 The Company has adopted ASU No. 2014-09, ''Revenue from Contracts with Customers" beginning
January 1, 2018. The only major impact of the standard is that revenues and expenses related to
advertising barter transactions are recognized beginning January 1, 2018. The impact for this quarter
is approximately $5.3 million for both revenues, and cost of revenues and expenses.

 

Non-GAAP Disclosure

To supplement the unaudited consolidated financial information prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles in the United States of America ("GAAP"), Sogou's management uses non-GAAP measures of gross profit, gross margin, and net income that are adjusted from results based on GAAP to exclude the impact of share-based awards. These measures should be considered in addition to results prepared in accordance with GAAP, but should not be considered a substitute for, or superior to, GAAP results.

Sogou's management believes that excluding share-based compensation expense is useful for management's internal operating purposes and for investors. The amount of share-based compensation expense cannot be anticipated by management, and this is not built into the Company's annual budgets and quarterly forecasts, which generally will be the basis for information Sogou provides to analysts and investors as guidance for future operating performance. As share-based compensation expense does not involve subsequent cash outflow, Sogou does not factor in this expense when evaluating and approving expenditures or when determining the allocation of its resources to its business operations. As a result, in general, the Company's monthly financial results for internal reporting and any performance measures for commissions and bonuses are based on these non-GAAP financial measures that exclude share-based compensation expense.

The non-GAAP financial measures are provided to enhance investors' overall understanding of Sogou's current financial performance and prospects for the future. A limitation of using non-GAAP gross profit, gross margin, and net income measures that exclude share-based compensation expense is that share-based compensation expense has been and is likely to continue to be a significant recurring expense in the Company's business. In order to mitigate these limitations, the Company has provided specific information regarding the GAAP amounts excluded from each non-GAAP measure. The accompanying tables include details on the reconciliation between GAAP financial measures that are most directly comparable to the non-GAAP financial measures the Company has presented.

Safe Harbor Statement

This announcement contains forward-looking statements. It is currently expected that the Business Outlook will not be updated until release of Sogou's next quarterly earnings announcement. However, Sogou reserves the right to update its Business Outlook at any time for any reason. Statements that are not historical facts, including statements about Sogou's and Sogou management's beliefs and expectations, are forward-looking statements. These statements are based on current plans, estimates, and projections, which involve inherent risks and uncertainties. We caution you that a number of important factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statement. Potential risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, intense competition in the market for search and search-related services; our need to continually innovate and adapt in order to grow our business; our reliance on Tencent platforms for a significant portion of our user traffic; and uncertainty regarding the extent and reach of PRC governmental regulation of sponsored search. Further information regarding these and other risks is included in Amendment No. 2 to Sogou's Registration Statement on Form F‑1 (Registration No. 333-220928) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on November 6, 2017, and other documents Sogou files with or submits to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Conference Call and Webcast 

Sogou's management team will host a conference call at 7:30 am U.S. Eastern Time, (8:30 pm Beijing/Hong Kong time) on November 5, 2018, following the quarterly results announcement.

The dial-in details for the live conference call are:

 

U.S. Toll Free:

+1-888-317-6003

Mainland China:

4001-206115 (Toll Free)

Hong Kong:

800-963976 (Toll Free); +852-580-81995 (Local Toll)

International:

+1-412-317-6061

Passcode:

7311232

 

Please dial in 10 minutes before the call is scheduled to begin. When prompted, ask to be connected to the Sogou Inc. call and provide the passcode.

A replay of the conference call may be accessed by phone at the following number until November 12, 2018:

 

International:

+1-412-317-0088

Passcode:

10125635

 

A live webcast and archive of the conference call will be available on the Investor Relations section of Sogou's website at http://ir.sogou.com.

About Sogou

Sogou Inc. (NYSE: SOGO) is an innovator in search and a leader in China's internet industry. With a mission to make it easy to communicate and get information, Sogou has grown to become the second largest search engine by mobile queries and the fourth largest internet company by MAU in China. Sogou has a wide range of innovative products and services including the Sogou Input Method, which is the largest Chinese language input software for both mobile and PC. Sogou is also at the forefront of AI development and has made significant breakthroughs in voice and image technologies, machine translation, and Q&A, which have been successfully integrated into our products and services.

For investor enquiries, please contact:

Jessie Zheng
Sogou Investor Relations
Tel: +86 10 5689 8068
Email: ir@sogou-inc.com

For media enquiries, please contact:

Rachael Layfield
Brunswick Group
Tel: +86 10 5960-8600
Email: sogou@brunswickgroup.com  

 

 

SOGOU INC.








CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS








(UNAUDITED, IN THOUSANDS EXCEPT PER SHARE AMOUNTS)
























Three Months Ended










 Sep. 30, 2018 


 Jun. 30, 2018 


 Sep. 30, 2017 








Revenues: 














  Search and search‑related advertising
  revenues

$

255,312

$

270,622

$

225,590








  Other revenues


21,255


30,794


31,755








Total revenues 


276,567


301,416


257,345








Cost of revenues (1) 


173,622


179,749


130,299








Gross profit 


102,945


121,667


127,046








Operating expenses:














  Research and development (1)


50,598


56,223


40,309








  Sales and marketing (1) 


43,592


33,865


44,798








  General and administrative (1)


15,548


6,748


6,246








Total operating expenses 


109,738


96,836


91,353








Operating (loss)/income


(6,793)


24,831


35,693








Interest income 


1,732


1,763


2,390








Foreign currency exchange gain/(loss)(2)


4,521


6,136


(2,475)








Other income/(expenses), net


24,049


3,427


(42)








Income before income tax expenses 


23,509


36,157


35,566








Income tax (benefit)/expenses


(409)


2,997


4,593








Net income 


23,918


33,160


30,973








Net income attributable to Sogou Inc. 

$

23,918

$

33,160

$

30,973








Less: Dividends attributable to preferred
shareholders 


-


-


7,023








Net income attributable to ordinary shareholders 

$

23,918

$

33,160

$

23,950








Weighted average number of ordinary shares
outstanding—basic


389,566


388,409


238,691








Weighted average number of ordinary shares
outstanding—diluted


396,354


395,163


271,540








Net income per ordinary share—basic

$

0.06

$

0.09

$

0.10








Net income per ordinary share—diluted

$

0.06

$

0.08

$

0.09








Net income per ADS—basic

$

0.06

$

0.09

$

0.10








Net income per ADS—diluted

$

0.06

$

0.08

$

0.09






















(1)  Share‑based compensation expense
included in:














   Cost of revenues 

$

234

$

263

$

-








   Research and development 


3,008


3,637


309








   Sales and marketing 


373


427


7








   General and administrative 


514


720


-









$

4,129

$

5,047

$

316






















(2)  Foreign currency exchange gain/(loss), mainly arising from our cross-border RMB-denominated intragroup loans, is a result of depreciation or appreciation of RMB, respectively

 

 

SOGOU INC.

CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS

(UNAUDITED, IN THOUSANDS)








As of  Sep. 30, 2018


As of  Dec. 31, 2017

ASSETS





Current assets:





  Cash and cash equivalents 

$

229,704

$

694,207

  Short-term investments


846,743


339,006

  Accounts receivable, net 


96,862


69,967

  Loans receivables, net


33,930


-

  Prepaid and other current assets 


38,106


15,091

  Due from related parties 


2,273


2,971

Total current assets 


1,247,618


1,121,242

Long‑term investments 


60,831


30,152

Fixed assets, net 


139,368


139,209

Goodwill 


5,612


5,908

Intangible assets, net 


736


1,328

Deferred tax assets, net 


11,285


15,006

Other assets


8,967


8,191

Total assets 

$

1,474,417

$

1,321,036

LIABILITIES





Current liabilities:





Accounts payable

$

116,523

$

73,018

Accrued and other short term liabilities


154,362


164,269

Receipts in advance


81,161


66,199

Accrued salary and benefits


27,387


29,719

Taxes payable


52,507


56,481

Due to related parties


65,000


23,109

Total current liabilities 


496,940


412,795

Total liabilities 

$

496,940

$

412,795






SHAREHOLDERS' EQUITY





Sogou Inc. shareholders' equity


977,477


908,241

Total shareholders' equity


977,477


908,241

Total liabilities and shareholders' equity 

$

1,474,417

$

1,321,036

 

 

SOGOU INC.

RECONCILIATIONS OF NON-GAAP RESULTS OF OPERATION MEASURES TO THE NEAREST COMPARABLE GAAP MEASURES

(UNAUDITED, IN THOUSANDS EXCEPT PER SHARE AMOUNTS)








































Three Months Ended Sep. 30, 2018

Three Months Ended Jun. 30, 2018

Three Months Ended Sep. 30, 2017


GAAP

Non-GAAP

Non-GAAP

GAAP

Non-GAAP

Non-GAAP

GAAP

Non-GAAP

Non-GAAP

Adjustments (1)

Adjustments (1)

Adjustments (1)

Gross profit

$

102,945

$

234

$

103,179

$

121,667

$

263

$

121,930

$

127,046

$

-

$

127,046




















Gross margin


37%




37%


40%




40%


49%




49%




















Operating expenses

$

109,738

$

(3,895)

$

105,843

$

96,836

$

(4,784)

$

92,052

$

91,353

$

(316)

$

91,037




















Operating Profit

$

(6,793)

$

4,129

$

(2,664)

$

24,831

$

5,047

$

29,878

$

35,693

$

316

$

36,009




















Operating margin


-2%




-1%


8%




10%


14%




14%




















Income tax (benefit)/expenses

$

(409)

$


$

(409)

$

2,997

$


$

2,997

$

4,593

$


$

4,593




















Net income 

$

23,918

$

4,129

$

28,047

$

33,160

$

5,047

$

38,207

$

30,973

$

316

$

31,289




















Net income attributable to Sogou Inc. 

$

23,918

$

4,129

$

28,047

$

33,160

$

5,047

$

38,207

$

30,973

$

316

$

31,289




















Net margin attributable to Sogou Inc. 


9%




10%


11%




13%


12%




12%







































(1) To exclude share-based compensation expense. This non-GAAP adjustment does not have an impact on income tax expense.







 

 

SOURCE Sogou Inc.


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