PDD Quarterly Earnings. Should you Buy?

Pinduoduo Inc. (NASDAQ: PDD), China’s largest agriculture and interactive commerce platform, today announced its unaudited financial results for the fourth quarter and the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020.

Fourth Quarter 2020 Highlights

  • GMV1 in the twelve-month period ended December 31, 2020 was RMB1,667.6 billion (US$2255.6 billion), an increase of 66% from RMB1,006.6 billion in the twelve-month period ended December 31, 2019.
  • Total revenues in the quarter were RMB26,547.7 million (US$4,068.6 million), an increase of 146% from RMB10,792.7 million in the same quarter of 2019.
  • Average monthly active users3 in the quarter were 719.9 million, an increase of 50% from 481.5 million in the same quarter of 2019.
  • Active buyers4 in the twelve-month period ended December 31, 2020 were 788.4 million, an increase of 35% from 585.2 million in the twelve-month period ended December 31, 2019.
  • Annual spending per active buyer5 in the twelve-month period ended December 31, 2020 was RMB 2,115.2 (US$324.2), an increase of 23% from RMB 1,720.1 in the twelve-month period ended December 31, 2019.

“We saw six years ago that mobile is the only way to go. Therefore, we are the only major consumer internet company in the world that is mobile only. The mobile internet fundamentally transforms the way humans interact with each other,” said Mr. Lei Chen, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Pinduoduo.

“This revolution is tearing down the walls between the physical and digital worlds. Being a mobile-only product in this new age, we are well-placed to benefit from the opportunities thrown up by each behavioral change.”

“One such change sweeping the world is agriculture and grocery. Pinduoduo started with agricultural products, with the vision of offering consumers the ‘Costco + Disney’ experience of more savings and more fun. We are now the largest agriculture platform in China and we hope that Pinduoduo can one day become the largest grocer in the world,” Mr. Chen continued.

“Agriculture is a strategic priority for us, and we will continue to invest in technology and operations across the agricultural value chain to optimize food production, distribution and consumption,” added Mr. David Liu, Vice President of Strategy. “Reducing inefficiencies in the supply chain will lower structural costs and make groceries more affordable for everyone.”

“We continued to deliver strong results in the fourth quarter and generate positive cash flow from operations,” said Mr. Tony Ma, Vice President of Finance. “Our total revenues for fiscal year 2020 increased 97% from the prior year, and excluding contribution from merchandise sales, our total revenues grew 78%.”

Fourth Quarter 2020 Unaudited Financial Results

Total revenues were RMB26,547.7 million (US$4,068.6 million), an increase of 146% from RMB10,792.7 million in the same quarter of 2019. The increase was primarily due to an increase in revenues from online marketing services and contribution from merchandise sales.

  • Revenues from online marketing services and others were RMB18,922.0 million (US$2,899.9 million), an increase of 95% from RMB9,686.7 million in the same quarter of 2019.
  • Revenues from transaction services were RMB2,267.9 million (US$347.6 million), an increase of 105% from RMB1,106.0 million in the same quarter of 2019.
  • Revenues from merchandise sales were RMB5,357.8 million (US$821.1 million), an increase of RMB5,357.8 million from nil in the same quarter of 2019.

Total costs of revenues were RMB11,526.1 million (US$1,766.5 million), an increase of 466% from RMB2,037.4 million in the same quarter of 2019. The increase was mainly due to costs and expenses attributable to merchandise sales, higher cost of payment processing fees, cloud services fees, merchant support services, and delivery and storage fees.

Total operating expenses were RMB17,069.4 million (US$2,616.0 million), compared with RMB10,890.6 million in the same quarter of 2019.

  • Sales and marketing expenses were RMB14,712.5 million (US$2,254.8 million), an increase of 59% from RMB9,272.5 million in the same quarter of 2019, mainly due to an increase in advertising expenses and promotion and coupon expenses.
  • General and administrative expenses were RMB405.6 million (US$62.2 million), an increase of 17% from RMB345.7 million in the same quarter of 2019, primarily due to an increase in professional and outsourcing services.
  • Research and development expenses were RMB1,951.3 million (US$299.0 million), an increase of 53% from RMB1,272.4 million in the same quarter of 2019. The increase was primarily due to an increase in headcount and the recruitment of more experienced R&D personnel and an increase in R&D-related cloud services expenses.

Operating loss was RMB2,047.8 million (US$313.8 million), compared with operating loss of RMB2,135.3 million in the same quarter of 2019. Non-GAAP operating loss6 was RMB1,114.5 million (US$170.8 million), compared with operating loss of RMB1,336.6 million in the same quarter of 2019.

Net loss attributable to ordinary shareholders was RMB1,376.4 million (US$210.9 million), compared with RMB1,751.6 million in the same quarter of 2019. Non-GAAP net loss attributable to ordinary shareholders was RMB184.5 million (US$28.3 million), compared with RMB815.0 million in the same quarter of 2019.

Basic and diluted net loss per ADS were RMB1.13 (US$0.17), compared with RMB1.52 in the same quarter of 2019. Non-GAAP basic and diluted net loss per ADS were RMB0.15 (US$0.02), compared with RMB0.72 in the same quarter of 2019.

Net cash flow from operating activities was RMB14,946.6 million (US$2,290.7 million), compared with RMB9,598.0 million in the same quarter of 2019, primarily due to an increase in online marketing services revenues.

Cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments were RMB87.0 billion (US$13.3 billion) as of December 31, 2020, compared with RMB41.1 billion as of December 31, 2019.

Fiscal Year 2020 Financial Results

Total revenues were RMB59,491.9 million (US$9,117.5 million), representing an increase of 97% from RMB30,141.9 million in 2019. The increase was primarily due to an increase in revenues from online marketing services and contribution from merchandise sales.

  • Revenues from online marketing services and others were RMB47,953.8 million (US$7,349.2 million), representing an increase of 79% from RMB26,813.6 million in 2019.
  • Revenues from transaction services were RMB5,787.4 million (US$887.0 million), representing an increase of 74% from RMB3,328.2 million in 2019.
  • Revenues from merchandise sales were RMB5,750.7 million (US$881.3 million), an increase of RMB5,750.7 million from nil in 2019.

Total costs of revenues were RMB19,278.6 million (US$2,954.6 million), representing an increase of 204% from RMB6,338.8 million in 2019. The increase was mainly due to costs and expenses attributable to merchandise sales, higher cost of payment processing fees, cloud services fees, merchant support services, and delivery and storage fees.

Total operating expenses were RMB49,593.5 million (US$7,600.5 million), compared with RMB32,341.3 million in 2019.

  • Sales and marketing expenses were RMB41,194.6 million (US$6,313.3 million), an increase of 52% from RMB27,174.2 million in 2019, mainly due to an increase in advertising expenses and promotion and coupon expenses.
  • General and administrative expenses were RMB1,507.3 million (US$231.0 million), an increase of 16% from RMB1,296.7 million in 2019, primarily due to an increase in headcount.
  • Research and development expenses were RMB6,891.7 million (US$1,056.2 million), an increase of 78% from RMB3,870.4 million in 2019. The increase was primarily due to an increase in headcount and the recruitment of more experienced R&D personnel and an increase in R&D-related cloud services expenses.

Operating loss was RMB9,380.3 million (US$1,437.6 million), compared with operating loss of RMB8,538.2 million in 2019. Non-GAAP operating loss was RMB5,767.3 million (US$883.9 million), compared with RMB5,980.5 million in 2019.

Net loss attributable to ordinary shareholders was RMB7,179.7 million (US$1,100.3 million), compared with RMB6,967.6 million in 2019. Non-GAAP net loss attributable to ordinary shareholders was RMB2,965.0 million (US$454.4 million), compared with RMB4,265.8 million in 2019.

Basic and diluted net loss per ADS were RMB6.02 (US$0.92), compared with RMB6.04 in 2019. Non-GAAP basic and diluted net loss per ADS were RMB2.49 (US$0.38), compared with RMB3.68 in 2019.

Net cash provided by operating activities was RMB28,196.6 million (US$4,321.3 million), compared with RMB14,821.0 million in 2019, primarily due to an increase in online marketing services revenues.

Recent Development

As of February 28, 2021, US$711.9 million of the 0% convertible bond due in 2024 have been converted into newly issued ADSs.

Conference Call

The Company will host a conference call to discuss the earnings at 7:30 AM U.S. Eastern Time on Wednesday, March 17, 2021 (7:30 PM Beijing/Hong Kong Time on Wednesday, March 17, 2021).

Please pre-register to join this conference using the registration link below. Please dial in using the participant dial-in numbers, direct event passcode, PIN and unique registrant ID which would be provided to you upon registering.

Pre-register at: http://apac.directeventreg.com/registration/event/6892223

A telephone replay of the call will be available after the conclusion of the conference call until 8:59 AM Eastern Time on March 25, 2021.


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