Ahead of the Bell: Sina

Sina shares rise on better-than-expected 2nd-qtr results, expectations of growth

Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) -- Shares of the popular Chinese Internet portal company Sina jumped in premarket trading after topping most expectations for the second quarter.

In addition to an online advertising portal, Sina operates Weibo, China's version of Twitter.

Brean Capital analyst Fawne Jiang pointed to growth at Weibo, and said that growth will accelerate in the near future thanks to a partnership with Alibaba, China's largest e-commerce company.

Sina posted a loss of $11.5 million, or 17 cents per share, after the market closed Monday. That compares with a profit of $33.2 million, or 49 cents per share, in the same quarter of 2012.

Adjusted for one-time items, however, the company earned 21 cents per share, which was almost twice what analysts had expected.

Revenue jumped 20 percent to $157.5 million, while adjusted revenue increased 20 percent to $152.8 million. That also topped Wall Street projections.

Sina also projected third-quarter adjusted revenue of between $176 million and $180 million, while analysts expect $165.6 million.

Jiang backed her "Buy" rating for Sina stock and boosted her price target by $31 to $99.

"We are positive on the ample growth potential of social network services in China; we believe Sina Weibo is and will remain a major player," Jiang wrote in a note to investors.

Shares of Sina Corp., rose $5.65, or 7 percent, to $86 in premarket trading.

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