Weibo Lifts Social Media, Chinese Stocks

Weibo Lifts Social Media, Chinese Stocks
By Julien GONG Min ( [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Weibo Corp (ADR) (NASDAQ:WB) had a rough start when it debuted on the NASDAQ on Thursday, but it didn’t take long for investor optimism to take over. Most agree that the decline in momentum stocks weighed on the Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR)-like company’s initial public offering early in the day.

Weibo slashed offering size

Fox Business reports that the IPO places a value of approximately $3.5 billion on Weibo Corp (ADR) (NASDAQ:WB). The company sold 16.8 million American depository shares for $17 each, raising $286 million. That’s significantly lower than what was initially planned, however, which was to sell 20 million shares for between $17 and $19 each.

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When Weibo Corp (ADR) (NASDAQ:WB) opened on Thursday, shares traded at a 4.3% discount to the company’s IPO price. As shares of Weibo rose through the trading day, however, shares of its parent company SINA Corp (NASDAQ:SINA) also climbed, closing the trading day out nearly 7% higher. LinkedIn Corp (NYSE:LNKD) and Groupon Inc (NASDAQ:GRPN) also received a lift, possibly due to more optimism on Weibo.

China worries weigh on Weibo

Reuters notes a second concern which likely added to why Weibo Corp (ADR) (NASDAQ:WB) had to cut the size of its offering. Some investors may have been concerned about the Chinese micro-blogging company’s exposure to censorship in China, which is unpredictable at best. Also competition with Tencent Holdings LTD (HKG:0700) (OTCMKTS:TCEHY) may be creating uncertainty around Weibo.

When shares of Weibo Corp (ADR) (NASDAQ:WB) hit their high of $24 a share, that pushed the company’s market capitalization up to $4.7 billion for a brief time. That also meant that the company was trading at about 26 times its 2013 sales, which is higher than Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)’s 19 times and Baidu Inc (ADR) (NASDAQ:BIDU)’s 2 times. However, it was still lower than Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR)’s 40 times 2013 sales.

Social media stocks weren’t the only ones which seemed to receive a lift from Weibo Corp (ADR) (NASDAQ:WB)’s strong debut. Chinese Internet companies also rose, with Youku Tudou Inc (ADR) (NYSE:YOKU) and RenRen Inc (NYSE:RENN) each jumping 3%.

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