Boasts Big Profits in 4Q Ltd., which develops and operates multiplayer online games in China, posted a 34 percent jump in fourth-quarter profit Monday, boosted by the popularity of its flagship game, “TLBB.” The company also said co-founder and Chief Operating Officer Dewen Chen will take on the added role of president.

But sales came in slightly below expectations, helping knock the company’s stock down $1.01, or 3 percent, to $32.58 in afternoon trading.

The company said it earned $38.9 million, or 73 cents a share, in the fourth quarter, up from $29 million, or 61 cents a share, a year earlier. Revenue climbed 21 percent to $70.7 million.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected 73 cents per share on sales of $71.1 million.

The company said it has several games in its pipeline slated for 2010 release that should attract new users by appealing to a variety of gamers. It predicted adjusted earnings of 77 cents to 80 cents per share, excluding stock-based compensation costs, and sales of $70 million to $73 million.

Analysts, who typically exclude special items, were looking for profit of just 74 cents per share but slightly higher sales of $73.2 million.

Full-year net income totaled $144.7 million, or $2.81 per share, compared with $108 million, or $2.27 per share, the year before. Revenue grew to $267.6 million from $201.8 million.

Also Monday,’s former parent Sohu Inc. said its fourth-quarter earnings sank 43 percent, hurt by higher marketing expenses. The Chinese Web portal and online gamer issued lower guidance for the first quarter than Wall Street predicted.