The latest: Online insurer Waterdrop Inc. (WDH.US) on Thursday announced its profit plunged 78.6% to 33.6 million yuan ($4.68 million) in the third quarter, though the result still represented its seventh consecutive quarterly profit.
Looking up: At the end of September, the company offered 1,253 insurance products on its platform, up 133.8% year on year, leading to a 20.1% increase in the number of its new insurance users.
Take Note: The company’s crowdfunding business has yet to stop bleeding red ink. That business recorded another operating loss of 68.79 million yuan in the third quarter, and was the main reason for the sharp drop in its net profit.
Digging Deeper: Waterdrop was founded in 2016 by Meituan (3690.HK) co-founder Shen Peng and listed in New York in May 2021. It operates platforms for insurance, crowdfunding and new drug R&D services. After operating for most of its life in the red in China’s fiercely competitive insurance market, the company started implementing cost control measures in late 2021 to bring down its selling, administrative and R&D expenses. That allowed it to swing to the black, and it has now posted seven consecutive quarters of profits since the first quarter of last year.
Market Reaction: Shares of Waterdrop fell 3.2% in New York on Thursday after the results were released, then shed another 2.4% to $1.18 the next day. The stock now trades at the lower end of its 52-week range.
Translation by A. Au
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