Updated from 11:46 a.m. EST

Sohu shares were rising Monday after the company reported solid fourth-quarter earnings for fiscal 2008 and issued a first-quarter forecast above the Street's.

The Chinese Internet company reported total revenue of $121.6 million, up from $65.3 million for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2007. Analysts had predicted revenue of $121 million.

The company said non-GAAP profits for the quarter were $1.50 a share, or $1.35 excluding a one-time tax adjustment, soundly beating analysts' forecast of $1.16.

Sohu Chairman and CEO Charles Zhang said the Beijing Olympics played a large role in the company's revenue growth. "Throughout the year, we were successful in leveraging historic national events to promote innovative online programming and attract new users and major advertisers to our portal," he said.

Looking ahead, the company -- which competes with the likes of

Google

(GOOG) - Get Report

,

Yahoo!

(YHOO)

,

Bidu

(BIDU) - Get Report

and

Sina

(SINA) - Get Report

-- said that it expects total revenue for the first quarter of fiscal 2009 to be between $111.5 million and $115.5 million, below analysts' estimate of $117.4 million, and non-GAAP profits of $1.05 to $1.10 a share, above the Street's forecast of $1.01 a share.

Shares of Bidu closed Monday trading up 7.8% to $49.16.

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Oppenheimer recently

upgraded

Sohu to Outperform from Perform, based on what it called a favorable position in online games. It also predicted ad revenue would be softer than expected in 2009, vs. high margins and steady growth of gaming division.