Third Quarter Net Revenues were RMB1.89 Billion Exceeding the High End of the Guidance
Net income attributable to Autohome Inc. increased 59.9% Year-over-Year to RMB681.3 Million
BEIJING, Nov. 12, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Autohome Inc. (NYSE: ATHM) ("Autohome" or the "Company"), the leading online destination for automobile consumers in China, today announced its unaudited financial results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2018.
Third Quarter 2018 Financial Highlights
- Net Revenues in the third quarter of 2018 were RMB1,888.4 million ($275.0 million), exceeding the high end of the Company's original guidance of RMB1,870.0 million ($272.3 million).
- Net Income attributable to Autohome Inc. in the third quarter of 2018 was RMB681.3 million ($99.2 million), compared to RMB426.1 million in the corresponding period of 2017.
- Adjusted net income attributable to Autohome Inc.in the third quarter of 2018 was RMB737.4 million ($107.4 million), compared to RMB475.8 million in the corresponding period of 2017.
Adoption of ASC 606, Revenue from Contracts with Customers
In May 2014, the FASB issued a new standard related to revenue recognition and further issued several amendments and updates to the new revenue guidance. The Company has finalized its analysis and the most significant impact is the change of the presentation of value-added tax from gross basis to net basis. The Company adopted this guidance effective January 1, 2018 using the modified retrospective method. The comparative information has not been restated and continues to be reported under the accounting standards in effect for those periods.
To provide investors with meaningful year-over-year comparison, the Company has provided a reconciliation table for the impact of adopting this new revenue guidance for the third quarter of 2018 and corresponding period in 2017, as adjusted, which was related to the change in presentation of value-added tax from gross basis to net basis.
For the ease of readers, the operational results are discussed and analyzed under the new revenue guidance, including those for the comparative period in 2017.
Third Quarter 2018 Operational Highlights
- Mobile Traffic Leadership Continues: In September 2018, the number of average daily unique visitors who accessed the Company's mobile websites and primary application combined reached 27.9 million, representing an increase of 48% compared with September 2017, further solidifying the Company's dominant position in the auto vertical sector in China.
- Data-driven Professionally Generated Content (PGC) Aggregates Audience Focus: The Company's automobile content platform continued to be the best-in-class with the number of professional content contributors increasing 28% sequentially. In addition, attributable to popular demand, Autohome has further diversified its content production by expanding to 13 columns, now including automobile culture, automobile-in-use, automobile comparative evaluation, in addition to the original 9 columns existing in the previous quarter of 2018.
- Augmented Reality Automobile Show in Chengdu Enhances O2O Convergence: The Company again successfully implemented the use of its Augmented Reality Automobile Show (the "AR Auto Show"), for the recent Chengdu 21st International Automobile Exhibition during the period from August 31, 2018 to September 9, 2018. The AR Auto Show attracted 26 branded automakers with over 130 automobile styles on display. This resulted in close to 46 million unique visitors with approximately 90% originating from tier 2 and lower-tier cities. The AR Auto Show generated further traffic of potential consumers with strong demand in lower tier Chinese cities, by surpassing the limitations set by traditional offline shows in terms of physical location and timing. Leveraging this satisfactory experience, Autohome plans to further expand the AR auto shows in other Chinese cities.
Mr. Min Lu, Chairman of the Board of directors and Chief Executive Officer of Autohome, stated, "We had another great quarter with revenue again exceeding our original guidance. With the successful implementation of our "4+1" strategy driving all of our business pillars, we have initiated strategic upgrade in building next generation auto ecosystem with AI, big data and cloud. We plan to continue to deepen our user engagement across our media platform, offer innovative intelligent marketing solutions driven by data technology, expand auto-financing options and partnerships, and accelerate our transaction platform. Given our consistent and repeated success in the past, as well as our leading position in the automotive industry, we remain committed to further strengthen our leadership, enrich our ecosystem, advance our cutting-edge technology, and enhance our competitiveness."
Mr. Jun Zou, Chief Financial Officer, added, "We are pleased with our progress so far in 2018 as we delivered resilient revenue growth and an even greater increase in net profit despite the softening macro environment for automobile sales in China. This performance was primarily driven by our core business share gains, continued focus on cost control, while ensuring the success of our new initiatives. We look forward to the opportunities ahead for Autohome as we further solidify our position as the automotive industry's most trusted marketing and technology partner."
Unaudited Third Quarter 2018 Financial Results
Net revenues in the third quarter of 2018 were RMB1,888.4 million ($275.0 million) compared to RMB1,414.7 million in the corresponding period of 2017.
- Media services revenues increased 20.1% to RMB901.3 million ($131.2 million) from RMB750.3 million in the corresponding period of 2017. The increase was mainly attributable to an increase in average revenue per automaker advertiser as automakers continued allocating a greater portion of their advertising budgets to Autohome, which provides an increasingly diversified and optimized portfolio of products.
- Leads generation services revenues increased 20.4% to RMB739.3 million ($107.6 million) from RMB613.9 million in the corresponding period of 2017. The increase was primarily attributable to a 15.9% year-over-year increase in average revenue per paying dealer as dealers continue to allocate a greater portion of their budgets to the Company's services, as well as an expanded dealer client base.
- Online marketplace and others revenues increased 390.4% to RMB247.9 million ($36.1 million) from RMB50.5 million in the corresponding period of 2017. Excluding direct vehicle sales, it would have increased 620.5% compared to the corresponding period of 2017. This increase was primarily attributable to the increased contribution from auto-financing business and data products. Online marketplace and others revenues in the third quarter of 2018 consisted of revenues related to new car and used car marketplace, auto-financing business, data products and others.
Cost of Revenues
Cost of revenues decreased by 3.1% to RMB215.4 million ($31.4 million) from RMB222.3 million in the corresponding period of 2017. Excluding the cost of direct vehicle sales, cost of revenues would have increased 4.1% compared to the corresponding period of 2017. In addition, cost of revenues included share-based compensation expenses of RMB4.3 million ($0.6 million) during the third quarter of 2018, compared to RMB3.9 million for the corresponding period of 2017.
Operating expenses were RMB1, 074.0 million ($156.4 million) in the third quarter of 2018, compared to RMB717.2 million in the corresponding period of 2017. The increase was mainly due to increases in sales and marketing expenses and product development expenses as the Company continues to reinvest in future growth opportunities.
- Sales and marketing expenses were RMB676.5 million ($98.5 million) in the third quarter of 2018, compared to RMB422.3 million in the corresponding period of 2017. The increase was primarily attributable to an increase in offline execution and branding expenses. Sales and marketing expenses for the third quarter of 2018 included share-based compensation expenses of RMB18.0 million ($2.6 million), compared to RMB11.6 million in the corresponding period of 2017.
- General and administrative expenses were RMB100.3 million ($14.6 million) in the third quarter of 2018, compared to RMB87.4 million in the corresponding period of 2017. The increase was primarily attributable to an increase in salaries and benefits. General and administrative expenses for the third quarter of 2018 included share-based compensation expenses of RMB12.8 million ($1.9 million), compared to RMB25.1 million in the corresponding period of 2017.
- Product development expenses were RMB297.3 million ($43.3 million) in the third quarter of 2018, compared to RMB207.5 million in the corresponding period of 2017. The increase was primarily attributable to an increase in salaries and benefits and increased investment in research and development activities. Product development expenses for the third quarter of 2018 included share-based compensation expenses of RMB19.9 million ($2.9 million), compared to RMB8.0 million in the corresponding period of 2017.
Operating profit increased 31.7% to RMB698.2 million ($101.7 million) from RMB530.0 million in the corresponding period of 2017.
Income tax expense
Income tax expense decreased 9.2% to RMB150.7 million ($21.9 million) in the third quarter of 2018, from RMB166.0 million in the corresponding period of 2017, primarily attributable to withholding tax liability associated with special cash dividend in the corresponding period of 2017, partially offset by an increase in taxable income.
Net Income attributable to Autohome Inc. and EPS
Net income attributable to Autohome Inc. increased 59.9% to RMB681.3 million ($99.2 million) from RMB426.1 million in the corresponding period of 2017. Basic and diluted earnings per share/per ADS ("EPS") were RMB5.78 ($0.84) and RMB5.71 ($0.83), respectively, compared to basic and diluted EPS of RMB3.65 and RMB3.59, respectively, in the corresponding period of 2017.
Adjusted Net Income attributable to Autohome Inc. and Non-GAAP EPS
Adjusted net income attributable to Autohome Inc. (Non-GAAP), defined as net income attributable to Autohome Inc. excluding share-based compensation expenses and amortization expenses of intangible assets related to acquisitions, increased 55.0% to RMB737.4 million ($107.4 million) from RMB475.8 million in the corresponding period of 2017. Non-GAAP basic and diluted EPS were RMB6.26 ($0.91) and RMB6.18 ($0.90), respectively, compared to non-GAAP basic and diluted EPS of RMB4.07 and RMB4.01, respectively, in the corresponding period of 2017.
Balance Sheet and Cash Flow
As of September 30, 2018, the Company had cash and cash equivalents and short-term investments of RMB8,345.9 million ($1,215.2 million). Net cash provided by operating activities in the third quarter of 2018 was RMB641.3 million ($93.4 million), compared to RMB548.3 million in the corresponding period of 2017.
The Company had 4,179 employees as of September 30, 2018.
Autohome currently expects to generate net revenues in the range of RMB2,110 million ($307.2 million) to RMB2,130 million ($310.1 million) in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2018, representing a 31.6% to 32.8% year-over-year increase. If excluding direct vehicle sales, this represents a 32.0% to 33.3% year-over-year increase. This forecast reflects the Company's current and preliminary view on the market and its operating conditions, which are subject to change.
Starting on January 1, 2018, Autohome adopted a new revenue recognition accounting standard ASC 606. Under ASC 606, the most significant impact on Autohome will be the change of presentation of value-added tax from gross basis to net basis. The above guidance reflects revenues net of value-added tax under the new revenue recognition standard. If presented on gross basis including value-added tax, the same basis as that for the year 2017, net revenues are expected to be between RMB2,310 million ($336.3 million) to RMB2,330 million ($339.3 million) in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2018.
Conference Call Information
The Company will host an earnings conference call at 7:00 AM U.S. Eastern Time on Monday, November 12, 2018 (8:00 PM Beijing Time on the same day).
Dial-in details for the earnings conference call are as follows:
Please dial in ten minutes before the call is scheduled to begin and provide the passcode to join the call.
A replay of the conference call may be accessed by phone at the following numbers until November 18, 2018:
Additionally, a live and archived webcast of the conference call will be available at http://ir.autohome.com.cn .
About Autohome Inc.
Autohome Inc. (NYSE: ATHM) is the leading online destination for automobile consumers in China. Its mission is to enhance the car-buying and ownership experience for auto consumers in China. Autohome provides professionally produced and user-generated content, a comprehensive automobile library, and extensive automobile listing information to automobile consumers, covering the entire car purchase and ownership cycle. The ability to reach a large and engaged user base of automobile consumers has made Autohome a preferred platform for automakers and dealers to conduct their advertising campaigns. Further, the Company's dealer subscription and advertising services allow dealers to market their inventory and services through Autohome's platform, extending the reach of their physical showrooms to potentially millions of internet users in China and generating sales leads for them. The Company offers sales leads, data analysis, and marketing services to assist automakers and dealers with improving their efficiency and facilitating transactions. As a transaction-centric company, Autohome operates its "Autohome Mall," a full-service online transaction platform, to facilitate transactions for automakers and dealers. Further, through its websites and mobile applications, it also provides other value-added services, including auto financing, auto insurance, used car transactions, and aftermarket services. For further information, please visit www.autohome.com.cn .
Safe Harbor Statement
This press release contains statements that may constitute "forward-looking" statements pursuant to the "safe harbor" provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements can be identified by terminology such as "will", "expects", "anticipates", "future", "intends", "plans", "believes", "estimates" and similar statements. Among other things, Autohome's business outlook, Autohome's strategic and operational plans and quotations from management in this announcement contain forward-looking statements. Autohome may also make written or oral forward-looking statements in its periodic reports to the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"), in its annual report to shareholders, in press releases and other written materials and in oral statements made by its officers, directors or employees to third parties. Statements that are not historical facts, including statements about Autohome's beliefs and expectations, are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements involve inherent risks and uncertainties. A number of factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statement, including but not limited to the following: Autohome's goals and strategies; Autohome's future business development, results of operations and financial condition; the expected growth of the online automobile advertising market in China; Autohome's ability to attract and retain users and advertisers and further enhance its brand recognition; Autohome's expectations regarding demand for and market acceptance of its products and services; competition in the online automobile advertising industry; fluctuations in general economic and business conditions in China and assumptions underlying or related to any of the foregoing. Further information regarding these and other risks is included in Autohome's filings with the SEC. All information provided in this press release is as of the date of this press release, and Autohome does not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statement, except as required under applicable law.
Use of Non-GAAP Financial Measures
To supplement net income presented in accordance with U.S. GAAP, we use Adjusted Net Income attributable to Autohome Inc., Non-GAAP basic and diluted EPS and Adjusted EBITDA as non-GAAP financial measures. We define Adjusted Net Income attributable to Autohome Inc. as net income attributable to Autohome Inc. excluding share-based compensation expenses and amortization expenses of intangible assets related to acquisitions. We define Non-GAAP basic and diluted EPS as Adjusted Net Income attributable to Autohome Inc. divided by the basic and diluted weighted average number of ordinary shares. We define Adjusted EBITDA as net income attributable to Autohome Inc. before income tax expense/(benefit), depreciation expenses of property and equipment and amortization expenses of intangible assets and share-based compensation expenses. We present these non-GAAP financial measures because they are used by our management to evaluate our operating performance, in addition to net income prepared in accordance with U.S. GAAP. We believe these non-GAAP financial measures are important to help investors understand our operating and financial performance, compare business trends among different reporting periods on a consistent basis and assess our core operating results, as they exclude certain expenses that are not expected to result in cash payments. The use of the above non-GAAP financial measures has certain limitations. Share-based compensation expenses have been and will continue to be incurred in the future and are not reflected in the presentation of the non-GAAP financial measures, but should be considered in the overall evaluation of our results. These non-GAAP financial measures should be considered in addition to financial measures prepared in accordance with GAAP, but should not be considered a substitute for, or superior to, financial measures prepared in accordance with GAAP. For more information on these non-GAAP financial measures, please see the table captioned "Reconciliation of non-GAAP and GAAP Results" set forth at the end of this press release.
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