Sina Corp, China's biggest Internet portal, forecast a record quarterly sales drop, citing a "challenging" online advertising market.
The company projected yesterday third-quarter sales will drop as much as 14 percent to $91 million, missing the $96 million median of nine analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.
The sales outlook is below what Shanghai-based Sina had expected, Chief Executive Officer Charles Chao said in a conference call, without specifying the previous forecast.
Sina predicted online ad sales may fall as much as 21 percent in the current period, larger than local rival Sohu.com Inc's projected drop.
China's economic slowdown in the first half weakened spending by Sina's customers in the automobile, property and technology industries, Chao said.
"Sina's guidance is for a much steeper drop than Sohu's," said Timothy Chan, who rates Sina "underperform" at CLSA Ltd in Hong Kong. "Sina's content-related costs are also going up, which makes us quite negative on the company."
The stock fell 1.1 percent to $30 in NASDAQ Stock Market trading on Monday before the results were announced, reducing its gain to 30 percent this year. That compares with a 29 percent advance in Sohu, the second-biggest Chinese portal.