Shares of Tencent-backed Meituan Dianping plunge on poor earnings

  • Meituan-Dianping, a Chinese online platform with services from food delivery to ticketing, announced that its operating losses had tripled to 3.45 billion yuan (approx $497 million) in the third quarter, compared to a year ago.
  • The results, the first since Meituan Dianping's listing, underscore the challenges facing the firm amid a costly battle in the food delivery space.

Shares of Chinese food delivery app Meituan Dianping plunged on Friday after the company posted its first earnings report since its $4.2 billion IPO in September.

Meituan Dianping's shares dived 11.79 percent on Friday. Shares of its main backer, gaming and social media company Tencent Holdings, fell 1.29 percent. Chinese tech juggernaut Tencent committed $400 million during Meituan's highly anticipated IPO.

Meituan-Dianping, an online platform with services from food delivery to ticketing, announced that its operating losses tripled to 3.45 billion yuan (approx $497 million) in the June to September quarter compared to a year ago.

Revenue for the three months to Sept. 30 rose 97.2 percent to 19.08 billion yuan and overall gross transaction volume grew 40 percent from a year ago.

"Honestly speaking, I really like this company ... I love their platform, I tried this platform in (the) mainland," Dickie Wong, research director at Kingston Securities, told CNBC's "Squawk Box" on Friday.

"But if I were an investor, I think it's hard to justify this kind of like 335-billion Hong Kong dollars (approx. $42.8 billion) valuation. It's kind of hard to justify it at this kind of like revenue growth and also, huge loss of operating... business."

Furthermore, Wong added, Meituan's acquisition of bike-sharing company Mobike was "not a very wise move."

"The bike renting business in China is simply not profitable," he added.

The results, the first since Meituan Dianping's listing, underscore the challenges facing the firm amid a costly battle in the food delivery space with rivals such as Alibaba Group's delivery platform Ele.me and even ride-hailing firm Didi Chuxing, which is backed by Japan's SoftBank.

Wong said Alibaba's platform was the main rival to Meituan "at this moment." He used a Chinese idiom to suggest that when the two parties compete with each other, a third party — likely the consumer in this case — will stand to benefit.

— Reuters contributed to this report.