Technology Stocks : Yandex N.V.
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From: zax5/17/2013 10:23:15 AM
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Yandex Search Engine Sees Steady Growth In Russia
Posted 05/15/2013 01:22 PM ET

Somewhere in Russia, two people are probably arguing over a fact or a piece of trivia. Like many folks in the digital age, they decide to settle the matter by doing an Internet search to find out who's right and who's wrong.

Do they say "Let's Yandex it" the way U.S. Internet users say, "Let's Google it?"

Probably not — even though Yandex ( YNDX) is Russia's largest search engine, with more than 60% of the market. Its nearest competitor, Google ( GOOG), has an estimated 26% of the Russian search market.

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Since debuting on the Nasdaq in May 2011, Yandex has run off eight straight quarters of 25%-or-better earnings growth. Sales have risen at least 29% over the same period.

Despite those numbers, the use of "Yandex" as a verb doesn't appear to have caught hold on a mass scale just yet.

Run a search of "Yandexed" and you come up with about 400 results. Run a search of "Googled" and you get closer to 68 million.

Maybe that's why Yandex is often referred to as the "Google of Russia," while Google is almost never referred to as the "Yandex of America."

Entrenched Search Engine

If Yandex lacks Google's name recognition, it can still take solace in the fact that it is firmly entrenched as Russia's top search engine and appears ready to pad its lead in coming years.

"(Yandex) offers the best exposure to the growth prospects of the Russian online sector through online advertising," Uralsib Capital analyst Konstantin Chernyshev noted in a report following Yandex's first-quarter earnings report.

Yandex is also growing its share of the global search engine pie. Earlier this year, it was reported that Yandex passed Microsoft Bing to become the world's fourth-largest Internet search engine.

Data released by ComScore qSearch show that Yandex passed Bing in the number of monthly search queries worldwide in November and December, the latest period global data are available.

According to that report, users of Yandex generated 9.46 billion search queries in November and December. That compares with 8.96 billion processed by Bing and other Microsoft sites.

Bing is owned by Microsoft ( MSFT) and processes more than 90% of the software giant's sites. Other Microsoft search sites in ComScore's report include MSN and Windows Live.

Google maintained its dominant global position with 228.9 billion search queries in the final two months of 2012. Baidu ( BIDU) sites ranked second with 29.1 billion queries, followed by Yahoo ( YHOO) sites with 17.2 billion.
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