SINA expects Q4 revenue of $190M-$194M, well above a $182.1M consensus. Ad revenue is expected to total $160M-$162M, up from a Q4 2012 level of $110.7M.
Q3 ad sales rose 26% Y/Y to $151.6M; that's a faster growth rate than Q2's 17%. A major reason: Weibo ad sales jumped 46% Q/Q and 125% Y/Y to $43.7M.
Non-ad revenue only rose 5% Y/Y to $28.4M, after growing 35% in Q2. The slowdown occurred even though Weibo value-added service revenue rose 26% Q/Q and 121% Y/Y to $9.7M.
Gross margin jumped to 64% from 54% in Q2 and the year-ago period. Sina says its "efforts to scale its core advertising business profitably" are improving margins.
Opex rose 23% Y/Y, slightly outpacing rev. growth of 21%. A 29% increase in R&D spend to $36.6M had much to do with the increase.