Shanda overvalued? (Motley Fool, Lip-bu Tan; Walden International)
Good comment from Motley Fool's Tim Goh on the valuation of Shanda:
"During the conference call the company also emphasized that it would be targeting home users and families by focusing more on casual games in the future instead of massively multiplayer online games (MMOGs). Now this would be a fundamental shift in the company's core strategy thus far (MMOGs made up 76% of the company's third-quarter revenue).
The success of Sina's and NetEase's recent MMOG efforts have shown that there is still a huge market for such games, and Shanda's announcement yesterday seems almost as though it is preparing to concede some market share in its main revenue-driver. It's not like casual gaming is devoid of competition, either -- Sina and NetEase also have a presence here, and as established portals they will have an edge in bringing traffic to their game sites. Shanda's planned movement away from its traditional area of strength is a concern, as is the possibility that the competition is nibbling away at its virtual turf."
"Shanda's current market cap at market close yesterday was $2.35 billion. When a company is worth almost thrice that of its industry (IDC expects the gaming sector to be worth $823 million in 2008 ), that is one serious case of irrational exuberance." Read More
The same concerns were also expressed by Lip-bu Tan, chairman of Walden International (One of the first U.S.-based VCs to begin investing in China).
From The Mercury News: Silicon Valley's go-to man in China (free but need to sign up!)
"Tan agrees there's too much hype around China's Internet-related companies. Some shares are trading at 20 to 30 times revenue, ``crazy levels,'' he says. Online gaming company Shanda has an estimated market of $1 billion, but its stock-market valuation is $2.4 billion. ``You know something's wrong,'' Tan says." Read More