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Tencent Of China Reports Poor Revenue Growth And Intends To Quadruple Buybacks

Tencent Of China Reports Poor Revenue Growth And Intends To Quadruple Buybacks
With its gaming revenue declining, Chines tech company Tencent Holdings reported a less impressive-than-expected 7% increase in fourth-quarter revenue on Wednesday. The company also stated that it planned to at least treble its share buybacks this year.
For the three months that concluded on December 31, the operator of the WeChat messaging network and the largest video game firm in the world announced revenue of 155.19 billion yuan ($21.56 billion).
This contrasts with the average of 23 expert projections, calculated by LSEG, of 157.2 billion yuan.
The fourth quarter saw a noticeable decline in Tencent's primary gaming business. While gaming revenue abroad climbed by only 1% to 13.9 billion yuan, or fell by 1% when currency changes are taken into account, gaming revenue in China fell by 3% to 27 billion yuan.
Additionally, the business stated that it plans to increase the amount of shares it repurchases by at least twice as much, from HK$49 billion in 2023 to over HK$100 billion ($12.78 billion) in 2024. By Tuesday's close, its shares had dropped almost 16% over the previous year.
In a conference call with reporters, Tencent President Martin Lau stated that the business experienced a decline in gaming revenue in the most recent quarter, in part because many fervent players had already spent money on their games when China decided to remove all COVID-19 restrictions in the first quarter of last year.
Lau stated that as a result, compared to last year, the company's gaming revenue in the first quarter of this year will likewise be weaker.
However, he claimed that Tencent is working on new games to increase its domestic earnings. Lau made a significant announcement, stating that the business intends to debut its "Dungeon & Fighter Mobile" in the second quarter, which JP Morgan analysts predict would generate between 3 and 4 billion yuan in sales.
Tencent's total income for the year increased by 10% to 609 billion yuan, falling short of analysts' projections of 612.2 billion yuan.
Nevertheless, Tencent has recovered this year after experiencing its first annual revenue fall in 2022 due to Beijing's massive crackdown on the digital industry. In contrast, last year's revenue increased in each of the quarters.
Online ad revenue increased 21% to 29.8 billion yuan as the massive Shenzhen-based company kept growing its ad distribution network.
The company's growth in fintech and business services drove a 15% increase in revenue to 54.5 billion yuan.
Lau also emphasised AI as Tencent's area of concentration during the call. Tencent claimed to have increased the scale of its "Hunyuan" AI model to a trillion-parameter level. The IT industry frequently uses the amount of parameters to gauge an AI model's strength.
Lau continued by saying that enhancing the text-to-image and text-to-video capabilities will be a major focus for their model this year.
When compared to the same period last year, net income for the quarter decreased by 74%; however, Tencent's sale of its ownership in the massive meal delivery service Meituan was the reason for the dip, opens new tab.
Tencent reported that its quarterly profit increased 44% year over year to 42.68 billion yuan when the impact of transactions relating to investments was taken out.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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