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Sales Jump at

The company beats fourth-quarter profit and revenue estimates.
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Chinese Internet search provider


soared past its own guidance and Wall Street estimates for fourth-quarter sales on Tuesday, and increased its income and revenue by triple-digit percentages from the same quarter last year.

Net income for the quarter was $3 million, an increase of 188.7% from the previous quarter, and up 285.6% from the corresponding quarter in 2004. Excluding share-based compensation expenses, the company made $4.3 million in profit, an increase of 208.3% from the quarter ending December 2004.

Per-share earnings were 13 cents, nearly double the 7-cent-a-share estimate of analysts polled by Thomson First Call.

Revenue for the quarter totaled $14.2 million, an increase of 167.7% from the same quarter last year, and above the company's top-end guidance of $13.1 million. Analysts had estimated the company would post $12.8 million in sales last quarter.

The stock surged 12.36% in after-market trading, up $6.39 to $58.08.

"We are pleased that Baidu has achieved another quarter of strong revenue and earnings growth despite increased efforts by our peers in the Chinese language search market," Robin Li, Baidu's chairman and CEO said in a statement.

Baidu CFO Shawn Wang attributed the robust financial results to continued traffic growth, customer base expansion and scalability in the company's "pay-for-performance" business model.

The company also completed an expansion of a major data center at the end of the third quarter, so depreciation expenses and bandwidth costs in the fourth quarter remained steady, and capital expenditures in fixed assets went down.

The company expects to bring in revenue between $15.5 million and $16.1 million for the current quarter ending in March.