Sina Corp , China's largest Web portal, posted a decline in quarterly sales and profit but beat Wall Street estimates as a recovering economy boosted consumer spending and advertising sentiment.

The company also projected a strong outlook, sending shares about 3 percent higher in after-hours trade on Monday.

Sina said sales in the third quarter, ending September 30, fell to $96.4 million from $105.4 million a year earlier.

Net profit was $16.7 million, or 29 cents a share, versus the year-earlier $18.8 million, or 31 cents a share.

Profit per share excluding one-time items was 34 cents, above the average analyst expectation of 31 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

China's online advertising market has taken a hit this year as uncertain economic conditions forced companies to slash their advertising and marketing budgets, but activity has picked up recently as China's $585 billion economic stimulus package trickles down into consumer spending.

Sina said revenue in the fourth quarter will range between $93 million and $96 million, excluding advertising revenue from its real estate business, which was recently merged with E-house Holdings Limited's subsidiary CRIC.

Including that advertising revenue, Sina said total revenue will range between $106 million and $109 million, compared with the average $99.5 million forecast from analysts.

Sina's shares, which are up roughly 83 percent this year, rose $1.34, or 3.1 percent, to $44.25 after closing at $42.906 on Nasdaq.

(Reporting by Alexei Oreskovic and Melanie Lee; Editing by Gary Hill)