Sep. 16, 2013, 11:44 AM
- Though Tencent's (TCEHY.PK, TCTZF.PK) acquisition of a 36.5% stake in Sohu's (SOHU +6.9%) Sogou search unit stands to make Sogou a greater threat to Baidu (BIDU +2%), given Tencent's plans to promote Sogou throughout its messaging/gaming empire, Baidu investors appear relieved Qihoo, which was in talks with Sohu, didn't end up reaching a deal.
- Research firm CNZZ recently estimated Qihoo now has over 15% of the Chinese search market, and the company itself recently pegged its share at 20%. Acquiring Sogou (estimated 8.8% share) would've given Qihoo additional scale and resources as it challenges Baidu's dominant position.
- Meanwhile, Tencent rose 2.5% in Hong Kong overnight, before the Sogou deal was announced. The company's market cap has topped $100B.
- Chinese Web giants Baidu, Tencent, and Alibaba are increasingly stepping on each others' toes. While Tencent and Alibaba have been relying on partnerships/minority investments to grow their reach, Baidu has been more interested in acquisitions and controlling stakes.
Sep. 11, 2013, 1:28 PM
- Search/security software/app store rivals Baidu (BIDU +5%) and Qihoo (QIHU +4.3%) are each surging to fresh 52-week highs. Qihoo, now up over 3x YTD, is also making new all-time highs (Citron Research can't like that).
- Citi, which upgraded Baidu to Neutral on July 16 and Buy on Aug. 9 after issuing very bearish commentary earlier this year, says its research indicates the ratio of ad clicks to queries on mobile devices is half the ratio for PCs, a level it deems better than expected.
- Citi also theorizes "paid clicks on smaller mobile screens are more likely to be clicked by users, given the limited number of search results displayed on the smaller screens," and that this compensates for lower keyword coverage by advertisers. Of course, accidental clicks could also contribute to higher mobile click rates.
- Citi now has a $167 PT on Baidu, equal to 25x 2014E EPS.
Aug. 26, 2013, 7:08 PM
- Shortly after Baidu (BIDU) acquired a 59% stake in Renren's (RENN) Nuomi Chinese group-buying site for $160M (via newly-issued shares), Nuomi's CEO has sent out a memo stating the business will be split from Renren, and is eventually looking to go public.
- Reviewing the deal, Tech in Asia's C. Custer suggests Baidu bought a controlling stake in Nuomi to shore up its e-commerce bona fides as it increasingly butts heads with fellow Chinese Web giants Alibaba and Tencent. He also notes Baidu could cross-promote Nuomi's deals via Baidu Maps (Google has begun doing something similar with Google Offers and Maps).
- Also: The Next Web's Jon Russell takes a look at Baidu's Light App platform, which enables mobile users to quickly load Web-based apps by inputting a search term. Light App bears a strong resemblance to Baidu's popular Box Computing PC search/app platform.
- Baidu says Light App will be monetized via ads and revenue-sharing deals, and could potentially serve different apps based on a user's device or location.
Aug. 23, 2013, 4:47 PM
- Baidu (BIDU) has launched Total View, a Google Street View-like imagery service tied to Baidu Maps. Only 3 cities are currently covered, but that should change shortly.
- The Chinese search giant has also announced 240M people use its various Android apps, and that it expects to have 300M by year's end. 4 different apps - Baidu's search app, Maps app, mobile browser, and Motu photo-editing tool - now have 100M+ users.
- Baidu's online Maps user base is close to topping 200M. Industry research firms have given Baidu a ~20% share of the Chinese mapping market, good for second place behind AutoNavi's (AMAP) ~25% share.
- Earlier: Baidu buys 59% stake in Renren's Nuomi group-buying site
Aug. 23, 2013, 9:59 AM
- Beaten-down Renren (RENN +7.6%) has jumped on the news; high-flying Baidu (BIDU -0.5%) is close to breakeven. The all-cash deal is expected to close in Q4. (PR)
- Baidu has been busy expanding the scope of its empire via M&A. Other recent acquisitions include top Chinese Android app store 91 Wireless ($1.9B), and video sites iQiyi and PPS.
- Nuomi, estimated to have an 11.6% share of the Chinese group-buying market (per local research firm tuan800), has a long history of posting losses. It had Q2 revenue of $6.2M (+69% Y/Y), and 3.8M active paying users during the quarter. 30% of its Q2 transactions came via mobile.
- Baidu's ability to promote Nuomi to its massive user base should help grow the site's paid user count, and in doing so increase its appeal to merchant partners. Nuomi is the Chinese group-buying market's 4th-largest player, behind Meituan (estimated 36.5% share), Dazhong (24.1%), and 55tuan (12.1%).
- The deal allows struggling Renren to focus on its online/mobile gaming and social networking ops going forward.
- Marbridge Consulting reported of Baidu's interest in Nuomi 10 days ago.
Aug. 22, 2013, 1:16 PM
- Chinese tech names, already having a spring/summer to remember, are largely outperforming after China's August flash manufacturing PMI came in at 50.1, easily beating a consensus of 48.3.
- Baidu (BIDU +2%), Dangdang (DANG +6.3%), Vipshop (VIPS +3.8%), Youku (YOKU +3.1%), Sina (SINA +2.7%), and Renren (RENN +2.1%) are among the winners.
- However, LightInTheBox (LITB -7.9%), which crumbled on Tuesday due to a revenue miss and soft guidance, is adding to this week's losses, and making new post-IPO lows in the process.
Aug. 16, 2013, 1:13 PM
- Down 11% over the prior two days (thanks in part to a general selloff in Chinese tech stocks), Qihoo (QIHU +10%) is flying higher today.
- A likely trigger: Remarks from president Qi Xiangdong stating Qihoo's So.com search engine (launched a year ago) now has a Chinese query share of 20%. Qi also predicts So.com's query share will top 30% by the end of 2014.
- Research firm CNZZ gave Qihoo a 15.3% Chinese search share for June, up from 9.6% in Oct. '12. Baidu (BIDU -0.5%) was assigned a 69.4% June share (down from 73% in Oct. '12).
- Last month, Qihoo announced it's in talks to by Sohu's Sogou search unit (8.8% June share, per CNZZ), but cautioned it hadn't reached "the pricing stage."
- Shares +132% YTD. Q2 results are due on Aug. 26.
Aug. 13, 2013, 11:37 AM
- An "industry source" tells Marbridge Consulting Baidu (BIDU +1.5%) has been talking with Renren (RENN +6.5%) for two months about buying a controlling stake in the latter's Nuomi daily deals unit. However, Nuomi is said to prefer a minority investment.
- The source adds Baidu has approached another daily deals site, Dianping, about a possible acquisition, while another source states Baidu is holding investment talks with the own of local search engine Ding Ding Map (30%-owned by Alibaba).
- Baidu has been in an acquisitive mood lately, snapping up online video site PPS and top Chinese Android app distributor 91 Wireless for hefty sums.
- Nuomi's revenue rose 102% Y/Y in Q1, but still only totaled $5.1M. Active paying uses amounted to 3.1M (+69% Y/Y). The business has been a drag on Renren's bottom line for some time; it hurt the company's Q1 net profit by $7.9M.
- Renren is rallying thanks to the report, and perhaps also due to Sina's Q2 beat, which was driven by surging Weibo revenue. Renren's own Q2 results arrive tomorrow.
Aug. 9, 2013, 9:41 AM
- Cisco (CSCO - unchanged) has been upgraded to Neutral by JPMorgan ahead of its Aug. 14 FQ4 report.
- Baidu (BIDU +2.5%) has been upgraded to Buy by Citi following a 50%+ run-up since early July.
- SunEdison (SUNE -2.4%) has been cut to Hold by Ardour Capital two days after posting a mixed Q2 report.
- Accenture (ACN +0.7%) has been upgraded to Outperform by Baird.
- Orbitz (OWW -0.9%) has been cut to Neutral by Lazard following yesterday's huge post-earnings gains.
- inContact (SAAS -8%) has been cut to Hold by Benchmark following its Q2 revenue miss.
- Take-Two (TTWO +1.3%) has been started at Buy by Benchmark.
- Ixia (XXIA +1.9%) has been started at Buy by Jefferies.
Aug. 2, 2013, 5:49 PM
Jul. 31, 2013, 11:55 AM
- Youku (YOKU +4.5%) shares have jumped thanks to a rumor Baidu (BIDU +0.8%) will take a stake in the Chinese online video leader (translation).
- Like some other Baidu-related rumors, this one should be taken with a grain of salt, given Baidu competes with Youku via its iQiyi and (recently-acquired) PPS sites.
- The rumor comes shortly after Youku boasted its daily mobile video views topped 200M in June, up from 170M in May and 100M in January. Youku also claimed (citing iResearch data) it had 14M daily unique visitors in June, well above iQiyi's 7M and PPS' 6.9M.
- Youku stated in May it had 100M+ monthly mobile users, and that mobile had grown to make up ~30% of its traffic.
Jul. 29, 2013, 10:01 AM
- Microsoft (MSFT -0.1%) has been cut to Neutral by Atlantic Equities.
- 3D Systems (DDD +3.7%) and Stratasys (SSYS +1.9%) have been started at Buy by Brean Capital.
- Riverbed (RVBD -1.6%) has been cut to Market Perform by Northland.
- RF Micro (RFMD -2.9%) has been cut to Equal Weight by Barclays.
- Baidu (BIDU +1.8%) has been named a Long Research Tactical Idea by Morgan Stanley.
- Celestica (CLS +1.6%) has been upgraded to Buy by Canaccord.
Jul. 25, 2013, 9:19 AMSome upgrades and some caution roll in for Baidu (BIDU) following its earnings beat last night: CLSA moves 2 notches from Sell to Buy while Barclays raises from Hold to Buy. Goldman lifts its PT to $94 but keeps the stock at Hold: "We remain cautious on the margin outlook given the significant traffic acquisition costs and the upcoming S&M on mobile-related promotion." Stifel: "We believe the euphoria in the shares is misguided." Deutsche acknowledges the strong Q3 guidance, but - like Goldman - is wary of surging TAC. The stock's ahead 17% premarket. | Comment!
Jul. 25, 2013, 9:15 AM
Jul. 24, 2013, 5:53 PM
Jul. 24, 2013, 5:16 PMMore on Baidu: Revenue/ad customer rose 11% Q/Q and 3.9% Y/Y in Q2 to $2,623, after falling two quarters in a row and raising mobile and competition concerns. The growth came even though active ad customers rose 14.1% Q/Q and 33% Y/Y to 468K. Traffic acquisition costs rose to 11.6% of revenue from 10.2% in Q1 and 8.3% a year ago; Baidu attributes this to higher display ad network (contextual ad) sales and promotions for its hao123 directory site. SG&A spend +83.5% Y/Y to $175.7M, and R&D spend +72.6% to $153.4M; both remain well above rev. growth (38.6%). Mobile surpassed 10% of revenue for the first time. BIDU +13.2% AH, CC at 8PM ET (webcast). (PR) | Comment!
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