Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Alibaba's latest acquisition heightens focus on U.S. market has acquired Auctiva, a U.S.-based auction management software vendor which has worked closely with eBay in the past. Auctiva provides a variety of tools which allow users to post, market and manage their online auction listings.

This acquisition follows Alibaba's purchase of Vendio, another U.S. firm, in June. Vendio also provides online selling tools to small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Alibaba stated that the Vendio and Auctiva deals are expected to bring 250,000 potential new customers to the company.The deal is part of Alibaba's AliExpress initiative - a wholesale e-commerce platform which targets smaller orders.

This deal once again reinforces the fact that Alibaba and Global Sources are competing less and less as differing corporate strategies leave the two firms with shrinking overlap. Global Sources is focused on big buyer sourcing and Alibaba is (in their own words) building an online ecosystem designed to serve SMEs.

With its increasing U.S.-focus and portfolio of online selling platforms (, Taobao, Alipay, Vendio and Auctiva) Alibaba looks like a far a greater threat eBay than to Global Sources. For Hong Kong-based Global Sources, the biggest ongoing challenge stemming from Alibaba will be to effectively explain to its potential clients (primarily Asian manufacturers) the reason for the premium price placed on marketing on Global Sources' platform vs.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Global Sources Q2 revenues up 8%

Global Sources just released its Q2 results. Revenues in the second quarter were up 8% compared to Q2 2009 and the company's chairman, Merle Hinrichs expects revenues to grow 13%-15% in the second half of 2010. Second quarter revenues were US$58.4 million vs. US$54.2 million in 2009.

Online revenues were mostly flat (US$22.4 million vs. US$22.1 million last year). Exhibition related revenues were US$27.4 million in the quarter - up from US$24 million.

GAAP net income was US$7.3 million - a 43% rise over the US$5.1 million recorded in 2009.

First half revenues were US$92.4 million, a modest increase over the US$89 million in the first half of 2009. First half net income jumped from US$6.3 million to US$9.8 million.

The company expects full year 2010 revenues to be approximately US$190 million.

Global Sources' recently completed a US$100 million tender offer buying back some 11 million shares at US$9.00. The NASDAQ-listed shares closed at US$7.41 yesterday. Cash and cash equivalents were US$174 million at the end of Q2, but US$100 million of that figure has subsequently been returned to shareholders through the tender offer.

Hong Kong-listed announced its Q2 results last week with an astonishing 49% increase in revenues (US$201 million) and a 46% increase in net income (US$53 million).