|Bid||176.90 x 800|
|Ask||0.00 x 800|
|Day's range||175.37 - 179.17|
|52-week range||129.77 - 195.72|
|Beta (3Y monthly)||1.87|
|PE ratio (TTM)||50.63|
|Earnings date||31 Oct 2019 - 4 Nov 2019|
|Forward dividend & yield||N/A (N/A)|
|1y target est||223.03|
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Selling infant formula to China seems so 2016.The country abandoned its one-child policy three years ago, spurring expectations of a baby boom. These have been well and truly dashed. Fertility rates remain stuck around the levels they’ve been at for two decades, and the 15 million children born in 2018 was the lowest figure since 1961. Roughly five Indians are born each year for every three Chinese.So what’s the country’s second-biggest milk producer China Mengniu Dairy Co. doing paying an Amazon.com Inc. valuation for milk-powder producer Bellamy’s Australia Ltd.? The answer tells you a lot about the changing prospects for the Chinese consumer.Bellamy’s, which makes organic milk and infant foods and first sold shares to the public as recently as 2014. Mengniu’s cash offer, which Bellamy’s board has recommended, is a 59% premium to the last pre-deal closing price and values the company at A$1.5 billion ($1 billion), about 30 times its Ebitda in the last fiscal year (Amazon gets just 27 times).Formula producers such as Bellamy’s, Nestle SA, and Danone SA have gone through a rough patch in China recently, driven by the slowing birth rate and a general softening in consumer spending.China’s retail sales grew just 7.5% from a year earlier in August, the National Bureau of Statistics reported Monday, the second-slowest pace since the SARS epidemic in 2003. Fixed-asset investment in food processing plants year-to-date slumped 9.4% from a year earlier, suggesting companies see dismal prospects for growth.So what’s so special about Bellamy’s? For one thing, it still benefits from the long shadow of China’s 2008 tainted-milk scandal, when products including those made by Mengniu, its majority-controlled affiliate Yashili International Holdings Ltd., and arch-rival Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group Co. were found to have contained the toxic chemical melamine.That’s made foreign-branded infant formula such a hot commodity in China that Australian retailers have had to implement maximum-purchase rules to stop the booming buy-overseas, post-back-home trade from clearing their shelves.That’s not enough on its own, though, given the general headwinds. After all, Mengniu tried to capitalize on this trend back in 2015 when Yashili invested 1 billion yuan ($141 million) in a New Zealand factory. The mid- to high-end image of the Kieember and Kieevagour brands produced there clearly haven’t been a Bellamy’s-level success.Yashili announced plans to sell a 49% stake in the New Zealand business to Danone for the equivalent of about $201 million last December, but the sale was canceled last month amid unsuccessful attempts to strike a broader agreement between the two companies. While the valuation uplift was clearly a positive, it’s notable that neither side was desperate to gain or retain control of the asset without getting something else in return.What makes Bellamy’s different is that it eschews the mid-range altogether. Its cans of formula sell on Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s Tmall marketplace for 50% more than shoppers pay in Australia, where the organic branding means it’s already a premium line. It’s not so much a bet on China’s baby boom, as on growing wealth disparities and rising affluence in a country that already accounts for a third of the world’s luxury spendingEven in that context, Mengniu will struggle to make a good return on its investment. The company plans to invest to increase capacity and drive sales, Chief Executive Officer Minfang Lu said in a statement. That’s easier said than done, given that it takes three years to convert dairy farms to organic production. Australia is a relatively small organic milk producer, with output of about 50 million liters in 2017 compared with 880 million liters in China, according to KPMG.Mengniu will need to be confident this brand can hold its own against Yili, Nestle and Danone at the top end of a fiercely competitive Chinese market. Three-quarters of its revenue at present comes from sales in Australia. While Bellamy’s is often treated as a play on Chinese demand, it’s not there yet.Shareholders in the target would do well to sell into this offer. Those in Mengniu should hope they don’t end up crying over spilled milk.To contact the author of this story: David Fickling at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Matthew Brooker at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.David Fickling is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering commodities, as well as industrial and consumer companies. He has been a reporter for Bloomberg News, Dow Jones, the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times and the Guardian.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Sign up for Next China, a weekly email on where the nation stands now and where it's going next.For decades, NetEase Inc. has been the perennial runner-up to the likes of Tencent Holdings Ltd. in China’s evolving internet landscape. Now it’s betting on a bookish computer scientist to catapult it to the top of the class in the nation’s $36 billion online education market.Zhou Feng, chief executive officer of NetEase Youdao, is charged with helping NetEase escape from under Tencent’s enormous shadow and find life beyond video games. The U.S.-trained software coder handpicked by billionaire founder William Ding Lei is creating an all-in-one learning platform to tap the lucrative space where education and technology overlap. To bankroll that expansion, the company could float Youdao, last valued at $1.1 billion, as soon as this year.Zhou is counting on a decades-old custom. Every summer, millions of Chinese high school students sit through a grueling two-day college entrance exam, or gaokao, that helps determine the course of their lives. That’s why China’s tiger moms and dads have long sent their kids from as early as kindergarten age to private tutoring classes for English, math and sciences.Intense competition has fueled an education boom, particularly targeting the K-12 group that includes students from kindergarten through high school, creating a coterie of multi-billion-dollar corporations. Leading players like New Oriental Education & Technology Group Inc. and TAL Education Group that still rely mainly on in-class teaching have gone public in the U.S. and seen their shares soar. Online startups such as the Tencent-backed VIPKid are still trying to convince parents that digital instruction can be as good, if not better than brick-and-mortar classrooms.Through combining content with the latest technology, Zhou sees a business chance for Youdao, whose name loosely translates to “there’s a way”. Courses can be taught through high-speed live-streaming, enabling smooth communication between teacher and student. Artificial intelligence-powered “tutors” can grade homework and use data to evaluate student test results, he said.“That’s what we have always been good at,” said Zhou, 40, a University of California at Berkeley alumnus with a penchant for blending English words into conversations. “Almost every industry in China has been transformed by the internet, but that’s not yet the case for education.”Revenue for China’s online education market is estimated to have reached around 252 billion yuan ($35.7 billion) in 2018, and is expected to more than double in 2022, with 264 million paying users, according to iResearch.But there’s yet to be a clear winner -- even for top tuition providers like New Oriental, its digital arm Koolearn in 2017 only accounted for less than 1% of the total revenue in the local online teaching market, according to Frost & Sullivan data cited in its prospectus. What sets Youdao apart is its exclusive focus on online and its expansion into education-related hardware. It has launched a slew of products from apps for note-taking and children’s stories to smart devices like a 799 yuan electronic dictionary pen, which allows students to scan printed text and translate it instantaneously.“NetEase’s technology support and the company’s online DNA and roots should make its products more sophisticated than traditional education providers,” said Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Vey-Sern Ling. Still, not having physical classrooms means it could be difficult for Youdao to expand beyond structured, standardized learning or test prep, he said.NetEase could do with a win. Founder and CEO Ding has a master plan for China’s second largest game developer to delve into three sectors including e-commerce, music streaming and online education, but the result is best described as mixed. Its music arm has grappled with rising content costs, as it has to sublicense a large chunk of songs from its much bigger rival, Tencent Music Entertainment Group. Although e-commerce has grown to become NetEase’s largest division after gaming in terms of revenue, it sold its popular import platform Kaola to Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. in a $2 billion deal.That magnifies the importance of Youdao and its leader, with whom Ding shares a long history. Back in 2004, when Zhou was pursuing his doctorate degree in computer science, NetEase’s CEO came across his paper on filtering junk emails, and, ironically, shot him a message that was mistaken as spam. It had no body text but just a subject line: “I’m Ding Lei, I have a technical question for you.”The two eventually got in touch via phone calls, and Zhou worked part-time for NetEase for three years. After earning his doctorate in 2007, he officially joined the company as lead architect for Youdao in Beijing, which at the time was trying to morph from a digital dictionary into a web search engine. To challenge the local leader Baidu Inc., Youdao’s approach was to operate a slew of vertical search services at one time, in everything from news to blogs to maps.Those efforts failed, and in 2012 Zhou decided to close the search operation. “That was when we hit our lowest point,” he said. Zhou shifted the 400-person team to develop learning apps instead.Youdao’s revenue rose 60% in 2018 from a year earlier, while sales for K-12 courses increased three-fold in the same period, he said. Online courses have surpassed advertising as Youdao’s largest income stream, Zhou said.Now of the nearly 2,000 employees Zhou oversees at Youdao, half are teachers and other staffers dedicated to building up its online class portfolio. “Learning is much more difficult than playing video games,” he said.To contact the reporter on this story: Zheping Huang in Hong Kong at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Edwin Chan at firstname.lastname@example.org, Colum MurphyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Hong Kong’s IPO market is unexpectedly coming back to life. It may be a brief revival.Companies from Anheuser-Busch InBev SA’s Asian unit to Megvii Technology Ltd. aim to raise more than $10 billion selling shares before the year is out. It’s a turnaround that appeared improbable as recently as mid-August, when the Hang Seng Index erased its gain for the year amid anti-government protests and concerns over weakening global growth.Hong Kong’s benchmark stocks gauge has bounced 8% since Aug. 13, among the best-performing indexes worldwide in that period, as traders bet that China’s government will try to buoy investor spirits in the run-up to Oct. 1, when the country celebrates the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic. That’s created a window of opportunity for companies that previously struggled to generate enough investor interest.Budweiser Brewing Company APAC Ltd. is the prime example. The unit of AB InBev, the world’s largest brewer, pulled what would have been the world’s biggest initial public offering in mid-July after failing to draw sufficient demand for the $9.8 billion sale. The company is back with a pared-down $5 billion offering and aims to list by the end of September, Carol Zhong, Julia Fioretti, Jinshan Hong and Crystal Tse of Bloomberg News reported last week, citing people familiar with the matter.The brewer is seeking to list minus its Australian operations, which the company agreed to sell to Asahi Group Holdings Ltd. for $11.3 billion soon after withdrawing its IPO in July. That hived off a slower-growing part of its operations, which may help attract investors who balked at Budweiser Brewing’s valuation last time around.Other than a rising stock market, a simple technical reason may account for the brewer’s haste to try again. A company that seeks to list within six months of its first application doesn’t need to prepare a new set of accounts, meaning Budweiser Brewing can just strip the Australian operations from its financials when pitching to investors this time around.Others lining up at the IPO well include Megvii, a Beijing-based artificial intelligence startup that’s seeking $1 billion; consumer lender Home Credit NV, which is targeting as much as $1.5 billion; Chinese sportswear retailer Topsports International Holdings Ltd., which aims to raise about $1 billion; and ESR Cayman Ltd., a logistics real estate developer backed by Warburg Pincus that earlier shelved a $1.2 billion deal. The first to list of the current crop may be biotechnology firm Shanghai Henlius Biotech Inc., which has already started taking orders for a $477 million sale.The biggest flotation of all may come in October, when New York-traded Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. will seek to raise as much as $15 billion in a secondary listing, Reuters reported last month.The resurgence in the IPO market is a tonic for Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Ltd., which has faced skepticism over its $36.6 billion bid for London Stock Exchange Group Plc and whose shares have dropped 16% from this year’s high. Hong Kong has slipped in the pecking order of global stock exchanges after topping the rankings in 2018. Companies raised $10.8 billion in IPOs this year through Sept. 13, less than half of the total in the same period last year.The question is whether there will be enough investor demand to soak up all the stock that an eager and growing group of listing candidates is waiting to thrust on buyers. Meanwhile, Hong Kong’s economy is deteriorating and the protests haven’t gone away. Companies must also consider whether China’s feelgood efforts will extend beyond Oct. 1.Time may be of the essence for this crowd. To contact the author of this story: Nisha Gopalan at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Matthew Brooker at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Nisha Gopalan is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering deals and banking. She previously worked for the Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones as an editor and a reporter.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Multinational Chinese tech company Baidu has taken proactive steps to counter market uncertainty. It has plans to expand into areas of emerging technology.
(Bloomberg) -- Germany will finally get another major listed tech company when software maker TeamViewer AG completes a 2.3 billion-euro ($2.5 billion) initial public offering this month -- the biggest in the industry in almost two decades.While Germany has several established tech companies, including software giant SAP SE, there have been few sizable newcomers since chipmaker Infineon Technologies AG listed in 2000. TeamViewer will provide a boost to the weakest European IPO market in years and comes as Germany’s economy teeters on the brink of a recession. The share sale, which is oversubscribed, will be the country’s largest so far this year.Founded in 2005, TeamViewer has developed from a local provider of remote computer access tools to one that offers connectivity to customers in about 180 countries. The company plans to further expand in Europe, Asia and the U.S., and will add to its offerings for large corporate customers to help them connect anything from mobile phones and tablets to machine sensors, smart farming equipment or wind turbines.With a sudden influx of new offerings in Europe, IPO investors have a lot to choose from. Apart from TeamViewer, private equity firm EQT Partners AB is also marketing its initial public offering, with a management roadshow kicking off next week. On Thursday, Helios Towers Plc -- one of sub-Saharan Africa’s largest mobile-phone tower operators -- announced plans to list on the London Stock Exchange.TeamViewer’s owner, private equity firm Permira, plans to sell as many as 84 million shares for 23.50 euros to 27.50 euros each via holding firm TigerLuxOne, the company said late Wednesday. TeamViewer stock is expected to start trading on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange on Sept. 25.The price range would give the company a market value of between 4.7 billion euros and 5.5 billion euros. Bloomberg News previously reported the valuation could be 4 billion euros to 5 billion euros. The listing will improve TeamViewer’s brand recognition and make it easier for it to grow organically and via “selected acquisitions,” spokeswoman Martina Dier said.TeamViewer may hire more people in the U.S. and opened offices in China, Japan, India and Singapore last year to expand sales in those markets. In China alone, TeamViewer has “tens of millions” of free users, more of whom the company wants to convert into paying customers, according to Chief Executive Officer Oliver Steil.“Our big growth combined with strong profitability -- even if market conditions have been difficult -- makes our financial profile attractive to investors,” Steil said in an interview last month.TeamViewer’s cash billings grew more than 35% in the first half, faster than last year’s 25% growth, to over 140 million euros, the CEO said. The company posted a cash operating profit margin of more than 50% during the period. It says its software has been installed on more than 2 billion devices.Permira bought the company for 870 million euros in 2014. It has since partnered with firms including Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Salesforce.com Inc. to bolster its cloud offerings.The free float, a measure of company stock available to trade, will be 30% to 42%, depending on the size of the IPO, according to the statement.Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley are arranging the IPO, with Bank of America Corp., Barclays Plc and RBC Capital Markets. Lilja & Co. is acting as an independent adviser to Permira and TeamViewer.(Updates with company comment in sixth paragraph. An earlier version of the story was corrected to remove reference to IPO proceeeds)To contact the reporter on this story: Stefan Nicola in Berlin at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Dale Crofts at firstname.lastname@example.org, Andrew Blackman, Chris ReiterFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Europe is getting its own version of Softbank Group Corp. with the Amsterdam listing of tech investment firm Prosus NV. The move will likely help it avoid the fate of Yahoo Inc., the erstwhile Silicon Valley titan which has since fizzled away as a holding company.South African media and internet firm Naspers Ltd. has spun most of its technology investment out into Prosus. That new company, like its parent (which retains a stake of more than 73%), derives almost all of its 121 billion-euro ($133 billion) market capitalization from a 31% stake in Tencent Holdings Ltd., the Chinese internet behemoth behind WeChat. That’s much like Softbank, which trades at a discount to its investment in China’s Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.Bob van Dijk, the chief executive of both Prosus and Naspers, intended the Amsterdam listing to reduce the discount to the $131 billion value of the Tencent investment.Naspers came to constitute about 20% of the Johannesburg stock exchange; that means index funds had to sell shares in order to meet limitations about concentrating too much ownership in one stock. The stock started to underperform Tencent shares the moment it exceeded a 10% weighting, as Bloomberg Intelligence analyst John Davies has pointed out.On that basis, the listing has so far been a success. When Naspers announced the spin-off in March, it was trading at a near 30% discount to its Tencent stake, taking into account its net cash position. Now Prosus is trading at a discount of just 3% to its Tencent shares, net of cash but not including other investments.Prosus is home to more than just the Tencent stake. It houses most of the technology investments made by Naspers, including stakes in Delivery Hero AG, Mail.Ru Group Ltd. and PayU. The value of the publicly-traded entities alone is 4.1 billion euros. Including these, Prosus still has a discount of perhaps 20% to its sum-of-the-parts valuation.The question for van Dijk and his team remains to what extent they can break the stock’s lockstep with the Tencent share price. If they can’t, then Prosus risks becoming little more than a proxy investment, and follow the fate of Yahoo.That American firm, after selling its eponymous internet assets to Verizon Communications Inc. in 2017, rebranded as Altaba Inc., and became a holding company for investments in Alibaba and Yahoo Japan Corp. Their combined value persistently exceeded Altaba’s valuation by some 25%. It is now dissolving those holdings and shutting up shop.Some sort of mark down is always likely to be the case, partially because Prosus shareholders, like those of Altaba, have no real say in the running of the firm’s biggest investment. Tencent management is after all not directly accountable to Prosus investors. And there continue to be overhanging concerns about governance, as I have written before.Given all that, the relatively slim Prosus discount – compared to Altaba, at least – suggests investors are in fact affording some value to its portfolio of investments besides Tencent. Does that mean they would rather van Dijk reduce the Tencent stake (he says he has no plans to do so) and reinvest the proceeds elsewhere? Probably not.There are reasons why Prosus might continue to close the valuation gap. Inclusion on Amsterdam’s Euronext indices over the next few months ought to attract index funds, for instance. And some more lucrative exits such as the the 1.6-billion-euro profit Naspers made on India’s Flipkart would reassure shareholders that van Dijk is making the right investment calls.Van Dijk has taken a healthy step to bring the company more in line with the value of its holdings. But now he can’t as readily point towards technicalities as a reason for the discount, he needs to prove his ability to deliver the investment returns that justify spending shareholders’ money.To contact the author of this story: Alex Webb at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephanie Baker at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Alex Webb is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering Europe's technology, media and communications industries. He previously covered Apple and other technology companies for Bloomberg News in San Francisco.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
After two decades of leading Alibaba (BABA), Chairman Jack Ma stepped down today. Daniel Zhang, Alibaba's current CEO, will serve as the new chairman.
A tearful Jack Ma formally stepped down as Alibaba chairman on Tuesday, donning a guitar and a rock star wig at an event for thousands of employees of the e-commerce giant he founded 20 years ago in a small shared apartment in Hangzhou city in eastern China. During a four hour celebration in an 80,000-capacity stadium, Alibaba's billionaire executive chairman delivered on his promise of a year ago to hand over to CEO Daniel Zhang. Costumed performers, some dancing to dubstep music and dressed in traditional Chinese dress, and singers paid tribute to Ma's reputation for dressing up and performing at big events, entering to a parade of floats representing Alibaba divisions such as shopping site Tmall and payment service Ant Financial.
Mallinckrodt, Uber, Lyft, PG&E and Alibaba are the companies to watch.
Alibaba Group (BABA) today announced a refresh of its six core values to strengthen the company culture for navigating through the fast-changing digital era. The Company unveiled its changes to the six core values on the 20th anniversary of its founding. Just as its business has evolved, the world has evolved, and the Company’s values have to evolve to remain relevant to its global workforce.