February 28, 2018 / 1:23 AM / 7 months ago

CORRECTED-UPDATE 1-Tencent-backed Sea posts wider-than-expected loss as marketing costs spike

(Corrects listing to 'NYSE' from 'Nasdaq' in last graph)

Feb 28 (Reuters) - Online gaming and e-commerce firm Sea Ltd reported a larger-than-expected fourth-quarter loss, hurt by soaring marketing expenses as the company pumped money into promoting its e-commerce business.

Marketing expenses for the new e-commerce division more than tripled to $135 million in the quarter as Singapore-based Sea rolled out shipping and other promotions to snag new users.

The firm, which counts China's Tencent Holdings as its biggest shareholder, said revenue for the December quarter rose 41 percent on a year earlier to $124.6 million, as it launched new games and offered older ones in new markets.

It forecast 2018 full-year revenue of $730 million to $770 million.

Total adjusted revenue, rose 72.8 percent to $164.5 million for the quarter, slightly above analysts' average estimate of $156.3 million. Adjusted revenue for 2017 came in at $553.6 million, slightly ahead of its own forecast of $540 million to $550 million.

Sea posted an adjusted net loss of $251.6 million for the quarter, larger than the $201 million estimated by an average of three analysts according to Thomson Reuters data.

The quarterly net loss attributable to Sea was $262.7 million, or 90 cents per share, from $72.2 million, or 42 cents per share, a year earlier.

Sea's NYSE-listed shares rose marginally in after-market trading. (Reporting by Tamara Mathias and Sangameswaran S in Bengaluru and Aradhana Aravindan in Singapore; Editing by Stephen Coates and Richard Pullin)

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