Sina's Weibo, which is like a hybrid between Facebook and Twitter, has delivered robust growth.
Although Alibaba and JD.com are purely ecommerce plays,and Baidu is often viewed as a Chinese Google, which is owned by Alphabet, there is a definite gap in the social-network area.
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Sina with its valuable assets is fast replacing that missing link. The stock is poised to richly reward investors who get aboard now.
The Beijing-based company reported third-quarter net income of $146.5 million or $1.90 a share. Non-generally accepted accounting principles earnings came in at 56 cents a per share, compared with analysts' projection of 35 cents a share and 39 cents a share a year earlier.
Third-quarter revenue of $274.9 million was up 21% year over year and easily surpassed analysts' consensus estimates of $265 million.
Sina's majority stake in micro-blogging platform Weibo has delivered substantial rewards.
Quarterly advertising growth of 21% for Sina was driven by Weibo's strong advertising.
Weibo's monthly active users in September grew 34% to $297 million from a year earlier, within range of Twitter's $313 figure.
With liquidity of $2.2 billion, Sina is in a strong position to grow further. Besides Weibo, its digital media network of Sina.cn (mobile portal), Sina.com (portal) and Sina Mobile Apps helps the company offer distinct and targeted professional content on each of its region-specific websites.
Sina should rapidly progress, once the E-Housemerger is completed. That Chinese real estate services company can bring in ad money to Sina's already solid portfolio, as the company seeks synergies and works on complementary strengths.
With another relatively good quarter, market watchers thoughtthat Sina would update its guidance. The company projected full-year revenue of between $950 million and $1 billion or growth of 9% to 15% from 2015.
Wall Street expects Sina to deliver revenue of $1 billion this year and $1.24 billion next year, implying 24%-plus growth. Earnings-per-share growth estimates are also healthy for both this year and next.
Sina has effectively addressed the concerns around the impact of the soft macro conditions in China, having efficiently making its way through the labyrinth of online search restrictions as well as social-networking activities.
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The author is an independent contributor who at the time of publication owned none of the stocks mentioned.