RBC Capital is out with a good call on Baidu.com (NASDAQ:BIDU), saying their most recent channel checks reveal that after a lackluster, in-line October, November has seen significant acceleration and although December is not completely done, it will likely maintain November's momentum.
Net/Net, they believe 4Q07 is tracking to beat guidance/consensus. This has prompted them to raise 4Q07 estimates ahead of guidance/consensus to +17% sequential growth (vs. prior +16%, consensus +15%).
In short, Baidu is accelerating once again, and they have raised their 2008 and 2009 estimates and target to $423 (from $345). BIDU remains one of the few companies in RBC's coverage universe that is benefiting from macro, secular, and cyclical catalysts all at the same time.
RBC believes Baidu has made its way through the factors (Shenzhen salesforce reorg, gov't activity) that resulted in in-line 3Q07 performance and 4Q07 guidance, and that consensus 1Q08 estimates calling for flattish performance vs. 4Q07 are too low.
Notablecalls: Can BIDU hit $400 following this call? Yeah, why not!