What happened

Shares of Sea Limited (NYSE:SE) have soared today, up by 23% as of 1:15 p.m. EST, after the company reported fourth-quarter earnings results. The digital platform specialist beat expectations for both the top and bottom lines.

So what

Total revenue in the fourth quarter soared to $389.3 million, crushing the consensus estimate of $297.3 million. That translated into an adjusted net loss of $321.2 million, or $0.81 per share, which was less red ink than the adjusted net loss of $0.85 per share that analysts were expecting. Adjusted EBITDA was negative $203.6 million for the quarter. Quarterly active users in the digital entertainment segment more than doubled to 216.2 million, with average revenue per user of $1.10. Gross merchandise value in the e-commerce business grew to $3.4 billion.

Sea headquarters

Image source: Sea Group.

"I'm very pleased to announce that we closed out 2018 well ahead of our ambitious target," CEO Forrest Li said on the conference call. "Building on our strong results in the fourth quarter we exceeded the high end of each of the projections we provided in our latest guidance last year."

Check out all our earnings call transcripts.

Now what

In terms of guidance, adjusted revenue for the digital entertainment business is expected to be $1.2 billion to $1.3 billion for the year, with adjusted revenue for the e-commerce segment to be $630 million to $660 million. For 2019, Sea plans to focus on growing efficiently while strengthening monetization with deeper engagement of users.

"We enter into 2019 in a stronger position than ever before poised for growth on all fronts," Li added. "We are hugely excited for the year ahead and have once again set ambitious growth targets for ourselves as reflected in our guidance for 2019."