China’s Renren slides to a 3rd-qtr loss

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Chinese online social network operator Renren Inc. said Thursday that it moved to a loss in the third quarter as expenses more than doubled, offsetting a sharp rise in revenue.

On a per-share basis, the Beijing-based company broke even, in line with Wall Street’s expectations. But its revenue forecast for the fourth quarter fell short of analysts’ projections and its American depositary shares more than 11 percent in aftermarket trading.

Renren reported a loss of $1.2 million for the three months ended Sept. 30. That compares with net income of $7.3 million in the prior-year period.

The results included some $34 million in operating expenses, up from $13.8 million a year earlier. The increase was driven by higher selling, marketing and research and development costs.

Analysts polled by FactSet had anticipated the company would break even.

Revenue for the quarter jumped 57 percent to $34.2 million from $21.8 million. Analysts had expected $34.8 million in revenue.

Online advertising accounted for $19.6 million of total revenue, an increase of more than 91 percent from a year earlier, the company said.

Renren anticipates its fourth-quarter revenue will range from $31 million to $33 million. Analysts have forecast revenue of $35.8 million.

Its U.S.-traded shares fell 58 cents to $4.50 in aftermarket trading following the release of results. They slipped 7 cents to $5.08 during the regular session.