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Sina Jumps Most in a Month as CEO Says Weibo to Provide Revenue

Feb. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Sina Corp., which runs the Twitter-like Weibo service in China, jumped the most in a month on prospects its microblogging service will start to contribute to revenue in the second half of this year.

Sina surged 12.2 percent to $70.65 by 10:59 a.m. in New York, the biggest intraday gain since Jan. 27.

The Shanghai-based company plans to get “meaningful monetization” from Weibo in the second half of 2012, Chief Executive Officer Charles Chao said in a conference call yesterday after U.S. markets closed. Sina will start a Weibo-based display advertising system in the second quarter and several fee-based services beginning in the second half.

“More clarity on Weibo monetization is encouraging,” Ming Zhao, a Boston-based equity analyst at Susquehanna International Group LLP wrote in a research note today. “All these progresses point to a decent change in the financials starting from the second half.”

Sina has more than 300 million registered accounts for Weibo, CEO Chao said, up from more than 250 million users registered as of November.

Fourth-quarter net income at Sina totaled $9.28 million, compared with a loss of $100 million a year earlier. Analysts predicted profit of $10.4 million, according to the average of 10 estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Sales rose 21 percent to $133.4 million, of which $103.7 million came from advertising.

To contact the reporter on this story: Belinda Cao in New York at lcao4@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Emma O’Brien at eobrien6@bloomberg.net

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