SHANGHAI, March 20 (Reuters) - Tencent Holdings, China's largest online-gaming and social networking company, posted a 36.5 percent rise in fourth-quarter profit from a year ago, meeting analysts' expectations on robust sales of online games.
For the fourth quarter, Tencent's profit rose to 3.5 billion yuan ($563 million), in line with the average estimate of 3.4 billion yuan in a Reuters poll of nine analysts.
Fourth-quarter revenue rose 53.4 percent from a year earlier to 12.2 billion yuan, in line with analysts' estimates of 12.1 billion yuan. Online gaming revenue was 8.5 billion yuan and contributed 70 percent to total revenue.
Shares of Tencent, which is more than 30 percent owned by South African media group Naspers Ltd, closed up 1.4 percent on Wednesday before its results were announced, versus a 1 percent rise for the Hang Seng Index.
$1 = 6.2157 Chinese yuan Reporting by Melanie Lee; Editing by Kazunori Takada