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Sea's game revenue tops estimates, offsetting e-commerce slowdown

·2-min read

Sea's shares have tumbled 81% since its peak last October

Sea’s core gaming revenue grew faster than expected in the first quarter, offsetting a slowdown across the rest of the Southeast Asian internet giant’s business as online activity retreats from pandemic-era heights.

Sea’s gaming arm, its most profitable division, posted sales of US$1.14 billion, versus projections for less than US$930 million. Its shares climbed more than 10% in trading before US exchanges opened.

The Singaporean company’s large e-commerce business however underperformed. Consumers emerging from prolonged lockdowns are cutting back on online purchases, especially with the war in Ukraine and rising interest rates clouding the global economic outlook.

Sea revised its full-year outlook for e-commerce sales, its main source of revenue, to US$8.5 billion to US$9.1 billion from its previous guidance of US$8.9 billion to US$9.1 billion. The company also posted a wider loss for the first three months as expenses soared.

Sea's shares have tumbled 81% since its peak last October

Key Insights
The pandemic triggered a rally in online shopping and gaming shares as consumers spent more time and money online, helping Sea become Southeast Asia’s most valuable company. But the broader tech selloff, the shutdown of its e-commerce operation in India and disappointing earnings have wiped 81% off its value since a peak in October.

First-quarter revenue from Shopee, Sea’s e-commerce unit, rose 64% to US$1.5 billion, versus estimates of US$1.7 billion.
Revenue from gaming arm Garena gained 45% to $1.1 billion. The company said in March it expects Garena to post US$2.9 billion to US$3.1 billion in bookings in 2022, set to be its first decline ever.

Revenue from SeaMoney, Sea’s digital financial services unit, more than quadrupled to US$236 million.

Net loss in the first three months widened to US$579.8 million from US$422.7 million a year earlier. Total revenue climbed 64% to US$2.9 billion, the slowest pace of growth in more than four years.

Research and development expenses increased 141% to US$340.4 million, mainly because of higher staff cost from increased headcount and investment in technologies.

Sales and marketing expenses jumped 48% to US$1 billion.

Shopee’s gross merchandise value, the sum of transactions flowing through its platform, grew 39% to US$17.4 billion.

Total payment volume for Sea’s mobile wallet rose 49% to US$5.1 billion.

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