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On Nov 13, 2013, Zacks Investment Research upgraded SINA Corp. (SINA - Analyst Report) to a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). With a strong return of 61.3% over the past one year and a positive estimate revision trend, SINA is an attractive investment opportunity.

Why the Upgrade?

Upbeat third quarter results and strength in Weibo contributed to the upgrade. Weibo’s daily active user (DAU) base increased 11.2% to 60.2 million from the month of June to September. This was much better than 8.2% growth reported during the March-June period.

SINA reported third quarter earnings of 35 cents per share that were well ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 17 cents and the year-ago figure of 8 cents. SINA’s partnership with the Alibaba group contributed significantly to the company’s overall results.

Revenues surged 21.2% year over year to $184.6 million and exceeded the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $181.0 million. The year-over-year growth in revenues was primarily driven by higher revenues from online advertising and fee-based services. Advertising revenues moved up 25.7% from the year-ago quarter to $151.6 million.

SINA expects revenues for the fourth quarter of 2013 to be in the range of $190.0 million and $194.0 million. Advertising revenues are expected in the range of $160.0 million–$162.0 million, while non-advertising revenues are projected in the range of $30.0 million–$32.0 million.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for fiscal 2013 increased 33.3% to 8 cents per share as most of the estimates were revised higher over the last 60 days. For fiscal 2014, the Zacks Consensus Estimate increased 19.3% to $1.42 per share.

The long-term expected earnings growth rate for SINA is 22.5%.

Other Stocks to Consider:

Investors can also consider other stocks that are doing well right now. These include Qihoo 360 Technology (QIHU - Snapshot Report), Digital River (DRIV - Snapshot Report) and Facebook (FB - Analyst Report). While Qihoo and Digital River carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Facebook carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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