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Qihoo 360 Technology Co Ltd (QIHU), Trulia Inc (TRLA), Market Leader Inc (LEDR): 3 Internet Services Providers on a Spectacular Bull Run

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The Internet service industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the world. The rapid advancement in internet related infrastructure and services is the cause of this growth. The development of different internet applications has changed how businesses function. In addition, mobile Internet has skyrocketed Internet penetration. The penetration of mobile Internet services is estimated to increase from 23% in 2012 to 54% in 2017. In emerging economies, China is the largest Internet market in terms of users, and its services are expected to continue to increase due to expansion of internet coverage in remote and rural areas. What do three companies in this industry have to offer investors?

Expansion of online search services

Qihoo 360 TechnologyQihoo 360 Technology Co Ltd (NYSE:QIHU) launched its online search services, Qihoo 360, in August 2012 and now has the second largest share in the Chinese search market with a market share of 14.1% as of April. The search revenue was $6 million in the first quarter, mainly due to the release of its search ad systems in 2012 and its partnership with Google this year.

Qihoo 360 Technology Co Ltd (NYSE:QIHU) wants to continue expanding its market share and is improving its 360 search browser. Previously, users had to type the whole URL in order to visit a particular website. Now, users can type keywords and results will be shown on Qihoo searches, which will save time and increase traffic. It is also making its search experience user-friendly by separating paid and unpaid listings. Through these measures, Qihoo expects to take its search market share to 20% in 2013 and generate $80.4 million in revenue for 2013.

Qihoo 360 Technology Co Ltd (NYSE:QIHU) mobile gaming represents 42% of the company’s total revenue and shows immense growth potential. It generated around $2 million of mobile games revenue in the first quarter. Due to increasing smart-phone penetration in China, mobile games will be a $1 billion market in 2013, and is expected to show triple digit growth in the coming 15 months.

Smartphone penetration will rise due to 3G service promotion and increasing availability of $100 phones from Chinese vendors. Qihoo 360 Technology Co Ltd (NYSE:QIHU) will continue to expand its share in mobile games, and it will use its mobile security product and PC-based products to cross-sell its gaming products. Therefore, Qihoo mobile game’s revenue will grow at a rapid pace, and it will become major source of total mobile revenue in the next two years. Qihoo 360 Technology Co Ltd (NYSE:QIHU) is expected to generate mobile games revenue of $35 million in 2013 and $152 million in 2015.

Acquisition of market leader to expand subscriber base

On May 8, Trulia Inc (NYSE:TRLA) announced that it will acquire Market Leader Inc (NASDAQ:LEDR) for $355 million in cash and stock deal. Market Leader is a SaaS based real estate technology company providing customer relationship management, or CRM, tools to real estate agents. Market Leader Inc (NASDAQ:LEDR) has a software customer base of 135,000 users, which is expected to rise to 160,000 users in 2016. This will give Trulia Inc (NYSE:TRLA) a chance to cross-sell its advertising products to a large customer base.

Trulia Inc (NYSE:TRLA) will also be able to leverage Market Leader Inc (NASDAQ:LEDR)’s strong relationship with its franchisers and brokers. Market Leader has three leading franchisees and has partnership with top brokers. These franchisees promote CRM tools, which enhance the agent’s productivity and promote partnership between the agent, brokers, and franchiser. The acquisition is scheduled to be complete in the third quarter of 2013 and is expected to generate incremental revenue of $15 million by 2016.

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