Sina records first profit of $44M, preps for IPO

China's biggest social media site Sina Weibo clocks net income of US$44.5 million in fourth-quarter 2013 on net revenue of US$197 million, as the company prepares for its IPO on the NYSE.
Written by Liu Jiayi, Contributor

Chinese social networking giant, Sina Weibo, has clocked its first profit of US$44.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2013 on revenue of US$197 million, even as it prepares for its U.S. initial public offering (IPO). 

The microblogging site, which hosts more than 600 million registered users, saw its net revenue for the quarter climb 42 percent while advertising revenue increased 45 percent year-on-year to US$160.1 million, according to a Sina report Tuesday. Non-advertising revenue for the quarter grew 30 percent year-on-year to US$36.9 million.

During a meeting with financial analysts, Sina's president and CEO Cao Weiguo said in a ChinaByte.com report the company will continue to focus on expanding its user base and engagement in 2014. He added that robust performance in advertising and value-added services in the fourth quarter helped the Chinese company end the year with a strong bottom line. 

For the year, Sina reported a 26 percent increase in revenue over 2012 to US$665.1 million with advertising revenue contributing US$526.5 million, up 28 percent from the previous year. Non-advertising revenue increased 19 percent to US$138.6 million. Non-GAAP net income for 2013 climbed 645 percent year-on-year to US$77.3 million. 

According to sources in Sina's senior management, the company had planned to launch its IPO after clocking its first profit. Sina reported on Tuesday that the Chinese company will list on the New York Stock Exchange in the second quarter this year and Sina has hired Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse to prepare for the IPO. Its public offering is expected to raise an estimated US$500 million.

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