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Leju Earnings Jump Amid China Housing Fears

Chinese real estate plays Leju Holdings (LEJU) and parent E-House China Holdings (EJ) reported strong Q2 earnings Wednesday despite fears of a downturn in China's housing market.

Online real estate information site Leju earned 15 cents a share, missing by a penny the views of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters, on revenue of $117.36 million, beating views by about $5 million.

In April, a portion of Leju was spun off by E-House in a U.S. public offering to trade on the New York Stock Exchange, like the parent. E-House still owns about 75% of Leju shares.

Leju revenue from e-commerce services increased 159% from a year ago to $68.3 million, amounting to about 58% of total revenue. In addition to its own websites, Leju operates real estate and home-furnishing websites for Chinese e-commerce firms Sina (SINA) and Baidu (BIDU).

Leju shares peaked at 16.72 in late afternoon trading, closing up 12% to 16.35. The stock came public at 10 in mid-April.

Meanwhile, parent E-House earned 14 cents a share, a 27% increase from a year earlier and matching analysts' views. Revenue rose 29% to $210.15 million. Revenue from real estate online services grew 63% to $117.3 million. Revenue from real estate brokerage services fell a fraction to $65.5 million.

Its shares rose 2% to 11.85. But they're down 21% so far in 2014.

China's once-red hot real estate market has seen some pullback this year as housing prices and sales have cooled. Average home prices in 70 major Chinese cities fell 0.5% in June and 0.9% in July, according to Thomson Reuters analyses of data from China's National Bureau of Statistics. The Chinese housing market's recent condition has been attributed to a slowdown in the nation's economy and the Chinese government's efforts to cool the lending market.

Chinese Internet giant Tencent Holdings (TCEHY), traded over the counter in the U.S., owns about 15% of Leju. Tencent holds significant stakes in several U.S.-listed China firms such as JD.com (JD) and Cheetah Mobile (CMCM).

SouFun (SFUN), a larger rival to Leju, rose fractionally Wednesday.