Chinese Internet search company Baidu Inc. on Tuesday said its fourth-quarter earnings rose by 48 percent as revenue climbed.

Results surpassed analyst expectations, sending the company's shares higher in aftermarket activity.

During the fourth quarter, Baidu earned $62.7 million, or $1.80 per share, in the quarter compared with $42.3 million, or $1.22 per share, in the same period a year earlier. Excluding stock-based compensation expenses, Baidu earned $1.88 per share in the latest quarter.

Revenue rose 40 percent to $184.7 million.

On average, analysts polled by Thomson Reuters projected profit of $1.68 per share on revenue of $180 million.

For the first quarter, Baidu forecast revenue of $176 million to $181 million. Analysts predict revenue of $170.2 million.

Baidu's growth comes as rival Google Inc. clashes with Chinese regulators. Google last month threatened to pull out of China over its censorship of search results and alleged hacking of human rights activists' e-mail accounts.

Chinese government officials defended the country's censorship practices. They also said their government was not involved in the Internet attacks.

For the year, Baidu's net income rose 42 percent to $217.6 million, or $6.26 per share. Revenue climbed 39 percent to $651.6 million.

Shares of Baidu rose $38.14, or 8.8 percent, to $473.15 in after-hours trading. The stock earlier slid $8.22 to end regular trading at $435.01. It has ranged from $119.65 to $470.25 over the past year.