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WKN: A2JNBW | ISIN: US83410S1087 | Ticker-Symbol: 2SU
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17.06.24
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Sohu.com Limited: Sohu.com Reports First Quarter 2024 Unaudited Financial Results

BEIJING, May 20, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- Sohu.com Limited (NASDAQ: SOHU) ("Sohu" or the "Company"), a leading Chinese online media, video, and game business group, today reported unaudited financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2024.

First Quarter Highlights

  • Total revenues were US$139 million, down 14% year-over-year and 1% quarter-over-quarter.
  • Brand advertising revenues were US$16 million, down 29% year-over-year and 20% quarter-over-quarter.
  • Online game revenues were US$118 million, down 9% year-over-year and up 3% quarter-over-quarter.
  • GAAP net loss attributable to Sohu.com Limited was US$25 million, compared with a net loss of US$18 million in the first quarter of 2023 and a net loss of US$13 million in the fourth quarter of 2023.
  • Non-GAAP[1] net loss attributable to Sohu.com Limited was US$22 million, compared with a net loss of US$13 million in the first quarter of 2023 and a net loss of US$11 million in the fourth quarter of 2023.

Dr. Charles Zhang, Chairman and CEO of Sohu.com Limited, commented, "In the first quarter of 2024, our top-line performance was in line with our expectations, and our bottom-line performance exceeded our guidance, despite the impact of seasonality. For Sohu Media and Sohu Video, we continued to enhance user experience by refining products and optimizing algorithms. We proactively integrated our product matrix and resources to stimulate content generation, consumption and social distribution. Meanwhile, leveraging our unique IPs and differentiated advantages, we continued to host various events and campaigns, which not only stimulated users' interaction and content provision on our platforms, but also helped us gain more monetization opportunities. Online games delivered stable performance, with revenues in line with our expectations."

First Quarter Financial Results

Revenues

Total revenues were US$139 million, down 14% year-over-year and 1% quarter-over-quarter.

Brand advertising revenues were US$16 million, down 29% year-over-year and 20% quarter-over-quarter.

Online game revenues were US$118 million, down 9% year-over-year and up 3% quarter-over-quarter.

Gross Margin

Both GAAP and non-GAAP gross margin were 77%, compared with 75% in the first quarter of 2023 and 76% in the fourth quarter of 2023.

Both GAAP and non-GAAP gross margin for the brand advertising business were 1%, compared with 17% in the first quarter of 2023 and 16% in the fourth quarter of 2023.

Both GAAP and non-GAAP gross margin for online games were 88%, compared with 85% in the first quarter of 2023 and 87% in the fourth quarter of 2023.

Operating Expenses

GAAP operating expenses were US$134 million, down 4% year-over-year and up 1% quarter-over-quarter. Non-GAAP operating expenses were US$133 million, down 4% year-over-year and flat quarter-over-quarter.

Operating Loss

GAAP operating loss was US$27 million, compared with an operating loss of US$18 million in the first quarter of 2023 and an operating loss of US$25 million in the fourth quarter of 2023.

Non-GAAP operating loss was US$27 million, compared with an operating loss of US$18 million in the first quarter of 2023 and an operating loss of US$26 million in the fourth quarter of 2023.

Income Tax Expense

GAAP income tax expense was US$14 million, compared with income tax expense of US$13 million in the first quarter of 2023 and income tax expense of US$14 million in the fourth quarter of 2023. Non-GAAP income tax expense was US$10 million, compared with income tax expense of US$11 million in the first quarter of 2023 and income tax expense of US$10 million in the fourth quarter of 2023.

Net Loss

GAAP net loss attributable to Sohu.com Limited was US$25 million, or a net loss of US$0.76 per fully-diluted American depositary share ("ADS," each ADS representing one Sohu ordinary share), compared with a net loss of US$18 million in the first quarter of 2023 and a net loss of US$13 million in the fourth quarter of 2023.

Non-GAAP net loss attributable to Sohu.com Limited was US$22 million, or a net loss of US$0.65 per fully-diluted ADS, compared with a net loss of US$13 million in the first quarter of 2023 and a net loss of US$11million in the fourth quarter of 2023.

Liquidity and Capital Resources

As of March 31, 2024, cash and cash equivalents, short-term investments and long-term time deposits totaled approximately US$1.3 billion.

Supplementary Information for Changyou Results[2]

First Quarter 2024 Operating Results

  • For PC games, total average monthly active user accounts[3] (MAU) were 2.3 million, an increase of 5% year-over-year and a decrease of 1% quarter-over-quarter. Total quarterly aggregate active paying accounts[4] (APA) were 0.9 million, an increase of 1% year-over-year and 3% quarter-over-quarter.
  • For mobile games, total average MAU were 2.8 million, an increase of 71% year-over-year and 63% quarter-over-quarter. The year-over-year and quarter-over-quarter increases in MAU were mainly from Haikyu!!FLY HIGH that we launched in Japan and South Korea during the quarter. Total quarterly APA were 0.3 million, flat year-over-year and a decrease of 2% quarter-over-quarter.

First Quarter 2024 Unaudited Financial Results

Total revenues were US$119 million, a decrease of 9% year-over-year and an increase of 3% quarter-over-quarter. Online game revenues were US$118 million, a decrease of 9% year-over-year and an increase of 3% quarter-over-quarter. Online advertising revenues were US$1 million, a decrease of 31% year-over-year and 13% quarter-over-quarter.

GAAP and non-GAAP gross profit were both US$104 million, a decrease of 7% year-over-year and an increase of 3% quarter-over-quarter.

GAAP operating expenses were US$49 million, a decrease of 14% year-over-year and 7% quarter-over-quarter. The year-over-year and quarter-over-quarter decreases were mainly due to a decrease in outsourcing and licensing fees related to product development.

Non-GAAP operating expenses were US$49 million, a decrease of 13% year-over-year and 9% quarter-over-quarter.

GAAP operating profit was US$55 million, compared with an operating profit of US$54 million for the first quarter of 2023 and US$48 million for the fourth quarter of 2023.

Non-GAAP operating profit was US$55 million, compared with a non-GAAP operating profit of US$55 million for the first quarter of 2023 and US$47 million for the fourth quarter of 2023.

[3] Monthly active user accounts refers to the number of registered accounts that are logged in to these games at least once during the month.

[4] Quarterly aggregate active paying accounts refers to the number of accounts from which game points are utilized at least once during the quarter.

Recent Development

Under the previously-announced share repurchase program of up to US$150 million of the outstanding ADSs, as of May 16, 2024, Sohu had repurchased 1,726,718 ADSs for an aggregate cost of approximately US$17 million.

Business Outlook

For the second quarter of 2024, Sohu estimates:

  • Brand advertising revenues to be between US$18 million and US$20 million; this implies an annual decrease of 16% to 25%, and a sequential increase of 12% to 24%.
  • Online game revenues to be between US$133 million and US$143 million; this implies an annual increase of 12% to 21%, and a sequential increase of 13% to 21%.
  • Non-GAAP net loss attributable to Sohu.com Limited to be between US$27 million and US$37 million; and GAAP net loss attributable to Sohu.com Limited to be between US$30 million and US$40 million.

For the second quarter 2024 guidance, the Company has adopted a presumed exchange rate of RMB7.10 = US$1.00, as compared with the actual exchange rate of approximately RMB7.00 = US$1.00 for the second quarter of 2023, and RMB7.10 = US$1.00 for the first quarter of 2024.

This forecast reflects Sohu's management's current and preliminary view, which is subject to substantial uncertainty.

Non-GAAP Disclosure

To supplement the unaudited consolidated financial statements presented in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America ("GAAP"), Sohu's management uses non-GAAP measures of gross profit, operating profit, net income, net income attributable to Sohu.com Limited and diluted net income attributable to Sohu.com Limited per ADS, which are adjusted from results based on GAAP to exclude the impact of share-based compensation expense; changes in fair value recognized in the Company's consolidated statements of operations with respect to the Company's investments; the impact of income tax related to changes in the fair value of the Company's investments; and interest expense recognized in connection with the Toll Charge imposed by the U.S. TCJA. 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.

Sohu's management believes excluding share-based compensation expense; changes in fair value recognized in the Company's consolidated statements of operations with respect to the Company's investments; the impact of income tax related to changes in the fair value of the Company's investments; and interest expense recognized in connection with the Toll Charge from its non-GAAP financial measure is useful for itself and investors. Further, the impact of share-based compensation expense; changes in fair value recognized in the Company's consolidated statements of operations with respect to the Company's investments; the impact of income tax related to changes in the fair value of the Company's investments; and interest expense recognized in connection with the Toll Charge cannot be anticipated by management and business line leaders and these expenses were not built into the annual budgets and quarterly forecasts that have been the basis for information Sohu provides to analysts and investors as guidance for future operating performance. As share-based compensation expense and changes in fair value recognized in the Company's consolidated statements of operations with respect to the Company's investments, and the impact of income tax related to changes in the fair value of the Company's investments do not involve subsequent cash outflow or are reflected in the cash flows at the equity transaction level, Sohu does not factor in their impact when evaluating and approving expenditures or when determining the allocation of its resources to its business segments. As a result, in general, the monthly financial results for internal reporting and any performance measures for commissions and bonuses are based on non-GAAP financial measures that exclude share-based compensation expense, changes in fair value recognized in the Company's consolidated statements of operations with respect to the Company's investments, the impact of income tax related to changes in the fair value of the Company's investments, and also excluded the interest expense recognized in connection with the Toll Charge.

The non-GAAP financial measures are provided to enhance investors' overall understanding of Sohu's current financial performance and prospects for the future. A limitation of using non-GAAP gross profit, operating profit, net income, net income attributable to Sohu.com Limited, and diluted net income attributable to Sohu.com Limited per ADS excluding share-based compensation expense and interest expense recognized in connection with the Toll Charge is that share-based compensation expense and interest expense recognized in connection with the Toll Charge have been and can be expected to continue to be significant recurring expenses in Sohu's business. It is also possible that changes in fair value recognized in the Company's consolidated statements of operations with respect to the Company's investments, and the impact of income tax related to changes in the fair value of the Company's investments will recur in the future. In order to mitigate these limitations Sohu has provided specific information regarding the GAAP amounts excluded from each non-GAAP measure. The accompanying tables include details on the reconciliation between the GAAP financial measures that are most directly comparable to the non-GAAP financial measures that have been presented.

Notes to Financial Information

Financial information in this press release other than the information indicated as being non-GAAP is derived from Sohu's unaudited financial statements prepared in accordance with GAAP.

Safe Harbor Statement

This announcement contains forward-looking statements. It is currently expected that the Business Outlook will not be updated until release of Sohu's next quarterly earnings announcement; however, Sohu reserves right to update its Business Outlook at any time for any reason. Statements that are not historical facts, including statements about Sohu's beliefs and expectations, are forward-looking statements. These statements are based on current plans, estimates and projections, and therefore you should not place undue reliance on them. Forward-looking statements 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, instability in global financial and credit markets and its potential impact on the Chinese economy; exchange rate fluctuations, including their potential impact on the Chinese economy and on Sohu's reported U.S. dollar results; fluctuations in Sohu's quarterly operating results; the possibilities that Sohu will be unable to recoup its investment in video content and will be unable to develop a series of successful games for mobile platforms or successfully monetize mobile games it develops or acquires; Sohu's reliance on online advertising sales and online games for its revenues; and the impact of the U.S. TCJA. Further information regarding these and other risks is included in Sohu's annual report on Form 20-F for the year ended December 31, 2023, and other filings with and information furnished to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Conference Call and Webcast

Sohu's management team will host a conference call at 7:30 a.m. U.S. Eastern Time, May 20, 2024 (7:30 p.m. Beijing / Hong Kong time, May 20, 2024) following the quarterly results announcement. Participants can register for the conference call by clicking here, which will lead them to the conference registration website. Upon registration, participants will receive details for the conference call, including the dial-in numbers and a unique access PIN. Please dial in 10 minutes before the call is scheduled to begin.

The live Webcast and archive of the conference call will be available on the Investor Relations section of Sohu's website at https://investors.sohu.com/

About Sohu

Sohu.com Limited (NASDAQ: SOHU) was established by Dr. Charles Zhang, one of China's internet pioneers, in the 1990s. As a mainstream media platform, Sohu is indispensable to the daily life of millions of Chinese, providing a network of web properties and community based products which continually offer a broad array of choices regarding information, entertainment and communication to the vast number of Sohu users. Sohu has built one of the most comprehensive matrices of Chinese language web properties, consisting of the leading online media destinations Sohu News App, Sohu Video App, the mobile news portal m.sohu.com, the PC portal www.sohu.com, and the online video website tv.sohu.com; and the online games platform www.changyou.com/en/.

Sohu provides online brand advertising services as well as multiple news, information and content services on its matrix of websites and also on its mobile platforms. Sohu's online game business, conducted by its subsidiary Changyou, develops and operates a diverse portfolio of PC and mobile games, such as the well-known Tian Long Ba Bu ("TLBB") PC and Legacy TLBB Mobile.

For investor and media inquiries, please contact:

In China:

Ms. Huang, Pu
[email protected]

In the United States:

Ms. Bergkamp, Linda
[email protected]

SOHU.COM LIMITED

CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS

(UNAUDITED, IN THOUSANDS EXCEPT PER SHARE AMOUNTS)






Three Months Ended



Mar. 31, 2024


Dec. 31, 2023


Mar. 31, 2023

Revenues:







Brand advertising

$

16,070

$

20,195

$

22,524

Online games


117,812


114,759


129,463

Others


5,508


6,405


9,806

Total revenues


139,390


141,359


161,793








Cost of revenues:







Brand advertising (includes share-based

compensation expense of $0, $0, and $13,

respectively)


15,848


16,966


18,687

Online games (includes share-based compensation

expense of $0, $-44,and $18, respectively)


14,482


15,123


19,028

Others


2,389


1,733


2,728

Total cost of revenues


32,719


33,822


40,443








Gross profit


106,671


107,537


121,350








Operating expenses:







Product development (includes share-based

compensation expense of $3, $-572,and $269,

respectively)


66,209


69,553


73,048

Sales and marketing (includes share-based

compensation expense of $4, $4, and $35,

respectively)


54,806


50,813


52,443

General and administrative (includes share-based

compensation expense of $77, $-393,and $410,

respectively)


12,534


12,450


14,311

Total operating expenses


133,549


132,816


139,802








Operating loss


(26,878)


(25,279)


(18,452)








Other income, net


4,489


15,949


3,797

Interest income


11,358


11,578


11,084

Exchange difference


(19)


(823)


(1,074)

Income/(loss) before income tax expense


(11,050)


1,425


(4,645)








Income tax expense

13,924


14,044


13,289

Net loss


(24,974)


(12,619)


(17,934)








Less: Net loss attributable to the noncontrolling

interest shareholders


-


(1)


(1)








Net loss attributable to Sohu.com Limited


(24,974)


(12,618)


(17,933)








Basic net loss per share/ADS attributable to Sohu.com

Limited [5]

$

(0.76)

$

(0.37)

$

(0.53)

Shares/ADSs used in computing basic net loss per

share/ADS attributable to Sohu.com Limited


33,033


34,061


34,091








Diluted net loss per share/ADS attributable to

Sohu.com Limited

$

(0.76)

$

(0.37)

$

(0.53)

Shares/ADSs used in computing diluted net loss per

share/ADS attributable to Sohu.com Limited


33,033


34,061


34,091















[5] Each ADS represents one ordinary share.

SOHU.COM LIMITED

CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS

(UNAUDITED, IN THOUSANDS)








As of Mar. 31, 2024


As of Dec. 31, 2023

ASSETS





Current assets:





Cash and cash equivalents

$

318,716

$

362,504

Restricted cash


1,769


3,184

Short-term investments


624,456


597,770

Accounts receivable, net


55,398


71,618

Prepaid and other current assets


86,754


81,971

Total current assets


1,087,093


1,117,047

Fixed assets, net


265,508


269,058

Goodwill


47,137


47,163

Long-term investments, net


45,527


45,198

Intangible assets, net


1,314


2,226

Long-term time deposits


390,496


388,613

Other assets


14,552


12,793

Total assets

$

1,851,627

$

1,882,098






LIABILITIES





Current liabilities:





Accounts payable

$

46,264

$

44,609

Accrued liabilities


106,052


103,779

Receipts in advance and deferred revenue


48,114


50,829

Accrued salary and benefits


44,574


50,330

Taxes payables


10,600


11,363

Other short-term liabilities


82,139


81,482

Total current liabilities

$

337,743

$

342,392






Long-term other payables


3,493


3,924

Long-term tax liabilities


481,620


474,374

Other long-term liabilities


2,936


2,130

Total long-term liabilities

$

488,049

$

480,428

Total liabilities

$

825,792

$

822,820











SHAREHOLDERS' EQUITY:





Sohu.com Limited shareholders' equity


1,025,513


1,058,956

Noncontrolling interest


322


322

Total shareholders' equity

$

1,025,835

$

1,059,278






Total liabilities and shareholders' equity

$

1,851,627

$

1,882,098

SOHU.COM LIMITED

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

(UNAUDITED, IN THOUSANDS EXCEPT PER SHARE AMOUNTS)






















Three Months Ended Mar. 31, 2024


Three Months Ended Dec. 31, 2023


Three Months Ended Mar. 31, 2023



GAAP


Non-GAAP

Adjustment


Non-

GAAP


GAAP


Non-GAAP

Adjustment


Non-

GAAP


GAAP


Non-GAAP

Adjustment


Non-

GAAP
























-

(a)





-

(a)





13

(a)


Brand advertising gross profit

$

222

$

-

$

222

$

3,229

$

-

$

3,229

$

3,837

$

13

$

3,850

Brand advertising gross margin


1 %




1 %


16 %




16 %


17 %




17 %
























-

(a)





(44)

(a)





18

(a)


Online games gross profit

$

103,330

$

-

$

103,330

$

99,636

$

(44)

$

99,592

$

110,435

$

18

$

110,453

Online games gross margin


88 %




88 %


87 %




87 %


85 %




85 %
























-

(a)





-

(a)





-

(a)


Others gross profit

$

3,119

$

-

$

3,119

$

4,672

$

-

$

4,672

$

7,078

$

-

$

7,078

Others gross margin


57 %




57 %


73 %




73 %


72 %




72 %
























-

(a)





(44)

(a)





31

(a)


Gross profit

$

106,671

$

-

$

106,671

$

107,537

$

(44)

$

107,493

$

121,350

$

31

$

121,381

Gross margin


77 %




77 %


76 %




76 %


75 %




75 %







































Operating expenses

$

133,549

$

(84)

(a) $

133,465

$

132,816

$

961

(a) $

133,777

$

139,802

$

(714)

(a) $

139,088
























84

(a)





(1,005)

(a)





745

(a)


Operating loss

$

(26,878)

$

84

$

(26,794)

$

(25,279)

$

(1,005)

$

(26,284)

$

(18,452)

$

745

$

(17,707)

Operating margin


-19 %




-19 %


-18 %




-19 %


-11 %




-11 %




















Income tax expense

$

13,924

$

(3,691)

(d)$

10,233

$

14,044

$

(3,667)

(d)$

10,377

$

13,289

$

(2,420)

(c,d)$

10,869
























84

(a)





(1,005)

(a)





745

(a)






(398)

(b)





(827)

(b)





2,218

(b)






-






-






(555)

(c)






3,691

(d)





3,667

(d)





2,975

(d)


Net loss before non-controlling

interest

$

(24,974)

$

3,377

$

(21,597)

$

(12,619)

$

1,835

$

(10,784)

$

(17,934)

$

5,383

$

(12,551)
























84

(a)





(1,005)

(a)





745

(a)






(398)

(b)





(827)

(b)





2,218

(b)






-






-






(555)

(c)






3,691

(d)





3,667

(d)





2,975

(d)


Net loss attributable to Sohu.com

Limited for diluted net loss per

share/ADS

$

(24,974)


3,377


(21,597)

$

(12,618)


1,835


(10,783)

$

(17,933)

$

5,383

$

(12,550)

Diluted net loss per share/ADS

attributable to Sohu.com Limited

$

(0.76)




(0.65)

$

(0.37)




(0.32)

$

(0.53)



$

(0.37)

Shares/ADSs used in computing

diluted net loss per share/ADS

attributable to Sohu.com Limited


33,033




33,033


34,061




34,061


34,091




34,091







































Note:



















(a) To eliminate the impact of share-based awards.

(b) To adjust for changes in the fair value of the Company's investments.

(c) To adjust for the impact of income tax related to changes in the fair value of the Company's investments.

(d) To adjust for the effect of the Toll Charge.

SOURCE Sohu.com Limited

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