Shares of Chinese Web portal Sohu.com, Inc. (Nasdaq: SOHU) touched a new 52-week high on Monday after the company announced third quarter results that soundly beat the Street’s estimates. The improved results were primarily driven by revenue growth in the company’s online gaming segment. Other contributing factors included a 134 percent increase in the company’s paid search revenue and an 22 percent increase in Sohu’s advertising revenue, over the same period last year.
“Our largest business segment, online games, powered by the successful release of new expansion packs for our proprietary flagship product and the launch of new licensed games, once again achieved solid results,” said Sohu’s Chairman and CEO Dr. Charles Zhang in a statement.
“Our brand advertising business also set new records in the third quarter,” said Sohu’s Co-President and Chief Operating Officer Belinda Wang in a statement. “Our expanding group of advertising partners is taking advantage of strong economic conditions in China along with particular strength in each of their end markets. More specifically, they are looking to us to help maximize their advertising spending based on our significant investments in our online platform and other value-added solutions.”
Sohu’s quarterly profit increased to $38.7 million, or $1.01 a share, from $34.4 million, or 88 cents, a year earlier. Year-over-year, Sohu’s total revenue increased 20 percent to a record, $164.1 million, well above analysts’ estimates of $156.7 million. Revenue from the company’s online gaming segment, which comprises more than half of its total revenue, increased 25 percent to $85.6 million, over the same period last year.
Sohu forecast revenue of between $163 million and $168 million for the current quarter, versus $162.58 million expected; profit per share, excluding some costs, is projected at $1.10 to $1.15, versus the 95 cent average estimate.
The online gaming segment, powered by Changyou.com Ltd. (Nasdaq: CYOU) has three more in-house games under development and they plan to launch one every quarter, according to Think Equity analyst Atul Bagga.
Changyou also just reported a record quarter with $85.6 million in sales, and $45.3 million in profit, up 25 percent, and 20 percent respectively, over the same period last year.