Sina Posts First-Quarter Profit Rise, Shares Jump

Chinese Web portal Sina Corp posted a higher first-quarter profit on Wednesday on strong advertising sales and forecast better-than-expected second-quarter revenue, sending its stock up more than 9 percent.

Sina , which provides news, games, shopping and other online services, posted a profit of $16.1 million, or 27 cents per share, up from $8.6 million, or 15 cents per share, in the year-earlier period.

Revenue grew to $71.3 million from $51.3 million in the same period last year. The company had forecast first-quarter revenue of between $66 million and $68 million.

Ad revenues rose 51 percent to $47.8 million, exceeding Sina's guidance of $45 million to $46 million.

Sina expects revenue in the second quarter at between $88 million to $90 million, compared with the $81.7 million forecast, on average, by Wall Street analysts.

Shanghai-based Sina also said its mobile business continued its rebound during the first quarter.

Sina shares rose 9.3 percent to $58.11 in extended U.S. trading after the results were announced, adding to its 2.5 percent gain in regular Nasdaq trading to $53.15.

Chinese Internet firms have benefited from rising corporate advertising in the run-up to the Beijing Olympics and expansion of the overall market.

Media company posted a nearly five-fold surge in first-quarter profit, benefiting from online advertising and spending by corporations ahead of the Olympics, and predicted strong results for the rest of the year.

China had 210 million Web users by the end of 2007 and is expected to surpass the United States to become the world's largest market this year.