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Sina shares climb after strong third-quarter forecast

The logo of Sina Corp's Chinese microblog website "Weibo" is seen on a screen taken in Beijing in this September 13, 2011 file photo illustr
The logo of Sina Corp's Chinese microblog website "Weibo" is seen on a screen taken in Beijing in this September 13, 2011 file photo illustr

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Shares of Sina Corp climbed nearly 4 percent on Tuesday after the Chinese Internet company forecast better-than-expected quarterly revenue as its mobile business expands.

Sina, one of China's biggest Internet companies, on Monday reported a 20 percent jump in net revenue in the second quarter to $157.5 million, surpassing Wall Street's prediction of $145.2 million.

It foresees sales of $176 million to $180 million this quarter, again beating an average forecast for $165.5 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Oppenheimer and Stifel Nicolaus were among the brokerages that raised their price targets on its stock on Tuesday.

The company's non-advertising business grew 30 percent in the second quarter, as it continues to monetize its Sina Weibo microblogging service.

Mobile revenue grew 13 percent to $19.9 million.

In April, Sina sold an 18 percent stake in Weibo to e-commerce company Alibaba Group for $586 million. This month, Alibaba began to allow Weibo users to shop on its Taobao marketplace using their Sina logins, and the two companies released a microblogging service for Taobao merchants to sell their products.

Rival Tencent Holdings' social messaging product WeChat has usurped the once-dominant Sina Weibo's position as China's most popular social messaging app, with more than 100 million daily active users, more than double Weibo's.

Sina's shares have risen 60 percent since the beginning of the year, but remain well below their all-time intraday high of $147.12 in April 2011. On Tuesday afternoon, they were up 3.9 percent at $83.50 on the Nasdaq.

(Reporting by Paul Carsten in Beijing; editing by Matthew Lewis)

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