Netease.com Inc., one of the leading online game companies in China, reported on Wednesday 26 percent growth for its  third-quarter earnings lifted by the outstanding performance of Fantasy Westward Journey.

Fantasy Westward Journey delivered an outstanding performance highlight for the quarter with record peak concurrent users of 2.5 million on August 2, 2009, which is a clear testament to the ongoing popularity and longevity of this iconic game, stated William Ding, Chief Executive Officer and Director of NetEase.

The company reported earnings of 393.8 million yuan ($57.7 million) for the third quarter, or 3.02 yuan (44 cents) per American depositary share (ADS), up 26 percent compared to 313.3 million yuan ($45.9 million), or 2.42 yuan per ADS a year ago.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to report earnings of $0.49 per ADS on revenue of $138.65 million for the quarter, but the estimates typically exclude special items.

Netease, founded in 1997 as a tiny search engine, lost its No.2 status in China's online game sector to up-and-comer Tencent in the last quarter.

With an eventful game pipeline as well as new service introductions in email, blog and search, we are confident in maintaining our market-leading position in the Chinese MMORPG market and accelerating our position as a portal of choice for the dynamic and growing user community across China, CEO Ding said in a statement.