Revenue in its latest quarter climbed 12% to $108.2 million, with brisk growth in the company's Web-based advertising business more than offsetting weakness everywhere else. Adjusted earnings climbed 65% to $0.50 a share.
Wall Street was settling for a profit of $0.43 a share on $103.2 million in revenue.
Despite a brief quarterly stumble earlier this year, SINA has been a dependable growth stock. It has landed ahead of analyst profit targets in 17 of the past 19 quarters.
The company's guidance for the current quarter isn't as inspiring. It sees online advertising revenue coming in between flat sequentially to a mere 2% uptick. The company's non-advertising business -- primarily wireless value-added services for mobile phone users -- will continue to slide.
Don't sweat the wireless decline. This business has been fading for years, and online advertising revenue now accounts for all but a quarter of SINA's revenue. Ever since the Chinese government began clamping down on the content available through mobile services and carriers began taking many of those offerings in-house, it's been a tough niche to crack.
Its most buzz-worthy site is Weibo, a micro-blogging site that's being called China's Twitter. It managed to attract popular celebrities early on, and now has roughly 50 million users.
SINA also sensed an opportunity last year to combine its online real estate assets with leading agency E-House
Is SINA growing as quickly as paid search speedster Baidu
So let's call this a Weibo wager, but coming from an online pioneer that has routinely impressed Wall Street with its fiscal performances. It has paid in the past to buy on the slips, and history may be about to repeat itself given its lackluster guidance.
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Baidu, NetEase.com, and Sohu.com are Motley Fool Rule Breakers picks. SINA is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendation. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz has been a fan of China's high-margin online stocks for a long time. He does not own shares in any of the stocks in this story. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.