Textual content dimension
China’s premier foodstuff delivery system is searching to use its mammoth user foundation to develop into e-commerce and bolster its existing forays as a bicycle-share leader and journey middleman. The moves appear even as it remains below the vise of Beijing’s regulatory grip and its revenue slows.
Meituan (3690: HK) released its 2021 fiscal final results this week, demonstrating an ambitious and maturing corporation. Analysts continue being combined on the company’s prospective buyers, mostly simply because of three aspects: the mysterious upcoming of Meituan’s new initiatives, China’s clampdown on tech firms, and Covid-19.
Even though Meituan conquer profits and income expectations for the fourth quarter of 2021, figures have been down—for the quarter and for the year. Revenue took a huge hit, falling from a $737 million attain for all of 2020 to a $3.7 billion reduction for 2021. Total revenues had been up 56% for the calendar year, but have nonetheless been slowing for 10 months.
“Challenges” have been a recurring topic in the firm’s commentary accompanying its money statement. “As we entered 2022, we nevertheless deal with problems from Covid handle measures and a weakening intake setting,” it mentioned. It also blamed the “macro natural environment and natural disasters”—all of which are in fact impediments that have sideswiped a selection of sectors in China above the previous 12 months.
“We anticipate the company’s earnings to keep on being underneath pressure with new rules on food stuff shipping and delivery fee and resurgence of Covid-19,” LightStream equities analyst Shifara Samsudeen wrote in a note this week.
Meituan didn’t react to requests for comment.
But Meituan also appears to be going headstrong into its new and current ventures. Late last calendar year, it declared a change in its overall strategic positioning. It was relocating from “Food + Platform” to “Retail + Know-how,” it stated in a assertion. What that largely meant was that it would carry on its thriving management position in food stuff supply and bicycle-sharing, but would grow into full-fledged e-commerce.
Meituan is nicely positioned for this huge endeavor, even if competitiveness is intense. It currently delivers a variety of 3rd-celebration items from food items to retail things, and has a escalating logistics community. And as a result of its delivery and bicycle-share services—which are readily available along with a quantity of other expert services in a one do-it-all app—it is already on additional than 100 million telephones in China, according to iiMedia Study.
Meituan’s e-commerce force will involve increasing the goods it features in its supply system, but also raising each third-social gathering suppliers and its personal solutions. It is creating several spheres in just its e-commerce vertical that concentrate on unique person requirements. Chinese media even noted that Meituan was creating bodily retailers, much like
Alibaba Team Holding’s (BABA) Tmall has accomplished, from which motorists choose up merchandise to be sent.
Meituan has also not too long ago opened an overseas buying portal for cross-border sales, enabling Chinese shoppers to obtain merchandise from formulated markets like the U.S. That is currently a crowded area, even so, dominated by
JD.com (JD), and
Pinduoduo (PDD), with
NetEase’s (NTES) Kaola,
Amazon.com (AMZN), and
Suning (002024.China) having smaller sized portions, according to Analysys.
Even brief-video clip apps like Douyin (China’s authentic version of TikTok) and
Kuaishou Technological innovation (1024.Hong Kong) have started viewing substantial revenue by way of income of client items out there through click throughs. But earnings is slowing for the a few huge e-commerce leaders, Alibaba,
JD.com, and Pinduoduo.
On an earnings phone this week, Meituan went further more than noting that its large meals-shipping person foundation would give it an gain diving into e-commerce, hinting that its different e-commerce platforms would assistance travel up its traditional verticals.
So although it bleeds income, it continue to has the self confidence of quite a few observers.
“As we believe it is realistic to continue to keep the companies in decline, we price the organization by earnings. We believe that income will rise by 29% in 2022 and 25% in 2023,” Ming Lu, Chinese equities analyst at Aequitas Research, wrote in a observe this week. “We conclude an upside of 20% for the yr stop 2022, which indicates a rate goal of HK$160 ($20.44).”
As for the slew of new initiatives that are driving losses, Fitch Scores stated heading forward it “expects superior self-control about expenditure in new enterprises that do not yield financial advancement.”
Analysts at Nomura were much more dour, positing that downside pitfalls of Meituan inventory involve “intensifying competition from Alibaba in the two food stuff delivery and in-keep intake verticals, and even worse-than-envisioned overall performance in the new initiatives” these kinds of as e-commerce.
However Meituan’s inventory fell Thursday, it was continue to up almost 15% for the week.