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Sina Swings To Profit, But Misses View; Stock Down On Weak Revenue Outlook

China-based internet portal company Sina Corp. (SINA) Monday reported a profit for the fourth quarter, compared to a loss last year, when results were hurt by one-time charges.

Excluding items, earnings for the quarter missed Street estimates, as did sales.

Going forward, Sina provided a weak revenue outlook for the first quarter 2012, sending its stock down by 3.5 percent in extended trade on the Nasdaq.

Sina, which provides online media and mobile value-added services, said net revenue in the quarter grew 21 percent from last year, mainly on a 26 percent growth in advertising revenue. But this was offset by a four percent decline in gross margin and higher sales and product development costs.

Net income for the quarter was $9 million or $0.14 per share, compared to net loss of $100 million or $1.62 per share last year, when results were impacted by equity impairments of $128.6 million.

Excluding items, adjusted earnings was $14 million or $0.21 per share, compared to $30.6 million or $0.46 per share last year.

On average, 15 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected earnings of $0.21 per share for the quarter. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.

Net revenue for the quarter rose to $133.4 million from $110 million last year.

Non-GAAP revenue for the quarter was $128.7 million, up from $105 million a year ago. Analysts expected revenue of $129.34 million.

The company expects first quarter non-GAAP revenue of $101 million to $104 million. Analysts currently expect revenue of $113.74 million.

SINA closed Monday on the Nasdaq at $62.95, up $1.54 or 2.51%, on a volume of 4.5 million shares. In after hours, the stock lost 3.57%.

by RTT Staff Writer

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