Qihoo 360 Technology Co Ltd (QIHU) Remains No.1 Android App Store In China

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Chinese Internet giant Qihoo 360 Technology Co Ltd (NYSE:QIHU) continues to be the No.1 Android-based app store, according to the China Game Industry Committee’s latest data. Stifel analysts George I. Askew and Zim Yin have a Buy rating on the stock with $77.7 price target. First quarter data show that the Chinese mobile gaming industry grew 301% YoY to $711 million.

Qihoo has a 33.1% share in Android-based gaming distribution

Of the total revenue, the iOS games generated $198 million, up 297% YoY. The iOS games account for 28% of the total Chinese gaming revenue in the first quarter. In contrast, Android revenues surged 363% YoY to $302 million, accounting for 72% of the country’s gaming revenue. The number of mobile game users in China surged 104% YoY to 302.5 million.

Statistics show that Qihoo 360 Technology Co Ltd (NYSE:QIHU)’s app store, 360 Mobile Assistant, has a 33.1% share in Android-based game distribution. Baidu Inc (ADR) (NASDAQ:BIDU)’s 91 Wireless platform occupies 23.3% market share. Tencent Holdings Ltd (HKG:0700) is ranked third with 7.2%, followed by Xiaomi with 5.4% market share. Qihoo will report its fiscal first quarter results on Tuesday, May 27 after the bell.

Qihoo set to report solid Q1 results on May 27

Barclays said in a research note that it expects Qihoo 360 Technology Co Ltd (NYSE:QIHU) to report strong Q1 results and offer solid Q2 guidance. Barclays analysts forecast the Beijing-based company’s revenues to jump 108% YoY to $228.1 million. Its first quarter earnings are expected to come in at 32 cents. Wall Street consensus calls for $228.2 million in sales and 35 cents in earnings per share.

Barclays said Qihoo 360 Technology Co Ltd (NYSE:QIHU)’s search revenues are likely to be $41 million, making up 18% of the total expected revenue. The research firm forecasts app store revenues of $45 million or about 20% of the total Q1 revenues. Investors won’t be surprised if the company beats the consensus estimate, given solid growth in mobile Internet revenues and improvements in search monetization.

Qihoo 360 Technology Co Ltd (NYSE:QIHU)’s first quarter non-GAAP operating margins are likely to come at 20%, well above last year’s 17.1%. For the second quarter, Barclays forecasts $274.1 million in revenues, reflecting 81% YoY growth.

Qihoo 360 Technology Co Ltd (NYSE:QIHU) shares fell 3.52% to $81.02 at 12:29 PM EDT on Tuesday.

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