Shares Tumble on 1Q Outlook

BEIJING (AP) — Inc., which operates a popular Chinese Web portal, said Tuesday its quarterly profit fell 40 percent and issued a first-quarter outlook that was below expectations, sending its U.S.-traded shares tumbling.

Profit for the three months ended Dec. 31 was $25 million, or 65 cents per share, the Beijing-based company said. That was down from $44 million in the same period of 2010.

Revenues rose 42 percent over a year earlier to $246 Million.

Quarterly profit topped expectations, but Sohu shares fell in U.S. trading after the company said it expects profit this quarter of 50 to 55 cents per share. That was less than half the $1.20 that Wall Street was looking for, according a poll by FactSet. shares fell 15 percent in U.S. trading to $53.80.

Projected revenue of between $219 million and $225 million also fell short of analysts’ expectations of $237.9 million.

For the full year 2011, Sohu said profit rose 9.6 percent to $162.7 million, or $3.93 per share. Revenue rose 31.8 percent to $279.2 million.