UPDATE 3-Sohu Q4 falls, gives weak outlook; shares down

lunes 1 de febrero de 2010 15:48 CET

* Q4 EPS $0.76/shr vs $0.91 estimate

* Q4 revenue $135.8 mln vs $137.4 mln forecast

* Q4 net profit falls 43 pct

* Sees Q1 revenue below Wall Street view

* Shares down 7 percent (Adds share movement, updates dateline)

SHANGHAI/BANGALORE, Feb 1 (Reuters) - China's No.2 Internet portal Sohu.com Inc (SOHU.O: Cotización) posted a sharp drop in quarterly profit as operating expenses jumped, and forecast first-quarter revenue below estimates despite a gain in its gaming business, sending its shares down as much as 7 percent.

China's $4 billion online game market had 70 million gamers last year, said Beijing-based research firm iResearch.

In that market, Sohu's Changyou.com (CYOU.O: Cotización) competes against NetEase.com (NTES.O: Cotización), Tencent Holdings (0700.HK: Cotización) and Shanda Games GAME.O.

Changyou posted a 21 percent rise in fourth-quarter revenue to $70.7 million and net profit rose by more than a third to $38.9 million as its blockbuster roleplaying game Tian Long Ba Bu -- which allows multiple users to play together online -- proved more popular due to the release of an expansion pack.   Continuación...