Internet

Online Gaming Pushing Sohu.com's Revenue Even Higher

Chinese Internet portal Sohu.com's (SOHU) CEO says the company now plans to make more money in the coming weeks from an online game and has raised guidance for its fourth quarter 2007 financial results.

Dr. Charles Zhang, chairman and CEO of Sohu, commented, "We are excited about the way the fourth quarter is shaping up, with on-track advertising business and a stronger than expected performance by TLBB. We believe that this is a direct result of our continued focus on the development of our core technological strengths and advancements. Fueled by the increased contribution from our online games business, we are able to further reinvest strategically into our technology and our portal business so as to continue to create and enhance shareholder value."

Sohu is raising its guidance for the fourth quarter of 2007 for total revenue, which is now expected to be between US$55.5 million and US$57.5 million, an increase of US$2 million over previous guidance, with advertising revenue guidance unchanged from previously reported estimates of US$31 million to US$32 million, but with non-advertising revenue now expected to be between US$24.5 million and US$25.5 million, an increase of US$2 million over previous guidance.

The revised non-advertising guidance results from stronger than expected performance by Sohu's online game Tian Long Ba Bu. On November 1, 2007, Sohu successfully launched its second expansion pack of TLBB. Peak concurrent users of the game have exceeded 500,000. Although TLBB is experiencing robust growth to date, Sohu anticipates the game to mature starting first quarter of 2008. Sohu now estimates that non-GAAP fully diluted earnings per share for the fourth quarter of 2007 will be between US$0.36 and US$0.38, an increase of US$0.03.

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