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Baidu, Inc. (BIDU)

  • Dec. 27, 2013, 1:21 PM
    • Making good on a November Marbridge Consulting report, Baidu (BIDU +4.1%) has reached a deal to acquire Perfect World's (PWRD +1.8%) Huanxiang Zongheng online literature business (provides Chinese e-books, digital comics, and animations) for RMB191.5M ($31.5M). (PR)
    • Marbridge previously noted Zongheng offers 100K+ e-book titles, receives 60M+ daily page views, and gets over 1/3 of its site traffic via mobile.
    • The purchase is the latest in a string of 2013 acquisitions by Baidu, as the Chinese search giant attempts to create a far-reaching empire of Web/mobile content and services. Prior acquisitions: PPS, 91 Wireless, Nuomi.
    • Perfect World says the deal will allow it to focus on its core online gaming business. The company has been investing heavily in both developing new games and promoting existing ones.
    | Dec. 27, 2013, 1:21 PM | Comment!
  • Dec. 10, 2013, 12:49 PM
    • Pac Crest (Outperform) says its Chinese checks indicate Baidu's (BIDU +3.9%) Q4 trends are stable, at the company's growth rate can match that of the Chinese search market going forward.
    • Though shares have risen sharply this year thanks to improved ad monetization (particularly on mobile) and a general rally in Chinese Internet stocks, concerns about search share losses to Qihoo (QIHU +1.4%) and (to a lesser extent) Sohu's (SOHU +2%) Sogou unit have persisted.
    • Research firm CNZZ estimates Baidu had a 61.7% Chinese search share in October, down from 73.5% a year earlier. Over the same time, Qihoo's share surged to 21.4% from 9.8%, and Sogou's rose to 10.5% from 7.5%.
    | Dec. 10, 2013, 12:49 PM | 1 Comment
  • Nov. 21, 2013, 7:04 PM
    • A source close to Baidu (BIDU) tells Marbridge Consulting the Chinese search giant is close to buying Chinese literature/comics/animation site Huanxiang Zongheng, a unit of online gaming firm Perfect World (PWRD). The source adds more info about the deal will be released on Nov. 26.
    • Zongheng offers 100K+ online book titles, and receives 60M+ daily page views. It also offers iOS, Android, and Windows Phone apps, and gets over 1/3 of its site traffic via mobile.
    • Baidu has stepped up its M&A activity this year, as it tries to evolve into a broader, Google-like provider of Internet services and apps. The company has already bought video site PPS and top Android app store 91 Wireless, and a 59% stake in daily deals site Nuomi.
    | Nov. 21, 2013, 7:04 PM | Comment!
  • Nov. 13, 2013, 3:49 PM
    • Six days after dropping in the face of Twitter's strong debut, high-flying Internet names are rallying in the wake of Chinese microblogging leader Sina's Q3 beat and strong Q4 guidance.
    • The day has also seen a dismal IPO from online textbook rental leader Chegg, a WSJ report of a rejected $3B+ Facebook offer for Snapchat, and a vague afternoon rumor about M&A interest in Trulia from Realogy.
    • U.S. standouts: ZNGA +7.4%. LNKD +4.8%. P +3.3%. ANGI +2.6%. GSVC +4.1% (owns a Chegg stake).
    • Chinese standouts: QIHU +8.9%. SFUN +7.5%. LITB +6.4%. YY +6.9%. CYOU +6.3%. QUNR +5.7%. CTRP +3.7%.
    • Baidu (BIDU +1.4%) is up moderately following news Chinese online video rivals Sohu (SOHU +1.7%) and Youku (YOKU +3%) have joined the MPAA and various entertainment/media companies in suing it for piracy. The assorted parties accuse Baidu of enabling piracy through its video search engine, as well as through video player apps and a TV dongle.
    • The suit comes as Baidu ramps its content spending for its iQiyi and PPS video sites.
    | Nov. 13, 2013, 3:49 PM | Comment!
  • Nov. 7, 2013, 11:48 AM
    • Even as Twitter blasts off to a $25B valuation following its much-hyped IPO, U.S. and foreign Internet stocks are giving back some more of the massive 2013 gains that have led many names to trade at steep multiples.
    • One sign investors in this space are in a profit-taking mood: Zillow (Z -4.3%) and YY both sold off yesterday in spite of delivering Q3 beats (I, II) and above-consensus guidance; Zillow is adding to its losses today. Likewise, SouFun (SFUN -5.4%) has turned negative after providing a Q3 beat and strong guidance.
    • Notable U.S. decliners: FB -2.4%. LNKD -2.8%. GRPN -4.7% (reports after the close). ZNGA -2.7%. P -3.8%. TRLA -5.4%.
    • Notable foreign decliners: BIDU -2.4%. QIHU -6.7%. SINA -5% (generally viewed as the Chinese Twitter). DANG -6.2%. VIPS -7.7%. RENN -4.2%. AMAP -4.7%. CTRP -5.7%. YOKU -5.6%. RENN -4.2%. YNDX -5.1%. MELI -2.4% (plunged yesterday thanks to a Q3 miss). SIFY -2.6%.
    • Internet/social media ETFs: FDN, PNQI, SOCL
    | Nov. 7, 2013, 11:48 AM | 16 Comments
  • Nov. 1, 2013, 11:12 AM
    • After pricing its 11.1M-share IPO at $15 (above an elevated price range of $12-$14), Qunar (QUNR) opened at $28.35 and is now at $32.30, up 115.3%. That gives the Chinese online travel site a valuation of $3.64B, which in turn means Baidu's (BIDU) 58.8% post-IPO stake is worth $2.14B.
    • For reference, Qunar had 2012 sales of just $81.7M, and 1H13 sales of $58.5M (+75% Y/Y).
    • Rivals Ctrip (CTRP +1.2%) and eLong (LONG +1.7%) are trading higher.
    • F-1, IPO preview
    | Nov. 1, 2013, 11:12 AM | 1 Comment
  • Oct. 30, 2013, 9:13 AM
    | Oct. 30, 2013, 9:13 AM | Comment!
  • Oct. 30, 2013, 7:23 AM
    • "Our checks indicate increasing mobile search demand and incremental mobile ad budget from Baidu’s (BIDU) customers," says Jefferies, upping to Buy with a Street-high $222 per share price target. "We believe Baidu’s new product launches and strong monetization capability will deliver further revenue upside."
    • Brean Capital upgrades to Buy with $200 price target in a report titled: "Mobile Transition Taking Shape."
    • Last night: Q3 results.
    • Shares +8.2% to $172.50 in the premarket.
    | Oct. 30, 2013, 7:23 AM | 2 Comments
  • Oct. 29, 2013, 6:24 PM
    • After rising 11% Q/Q and 3.9% Y/Y in Q2, Baidu's (BIDU) revenue per online ad customer surged 18.6% Q/Q and 19.4% Y/Y in Q3 to $3,121. Q/Q drops in Q1 and Q4 '12 had stoked concerns competition (particularly from Qihoo) and mobile were impacting ad spend.
    • On the other hand, Baidu's active customer accounts fell 0.9% Q/Q to 464K, albeit while remaining up 19% Y/Y. Active accounts rose 14.1% Q/Q and 33% Y/Y in Q2.
    • Traffic acquisition costs amounted to 11.7% of revenue, up slightly from Q2's 11.6% and more sharply from 8.6% a year ago. Baidu once more attributes its TAC growth to a mix shift towards contextual (ad network) ads and promotions for its hao123 directory site.
    • While revenue rose 42% Y/Y, SG&A spend soared 115% to $226.2M, something Baidu largely attributes to mobile promotions. R&D spend rose 77.5% to $178.2M. Content spend (largely online video-related) made up 2.5% of revenue, up from 2% in Q2 and just 0.5% a year ago.
    • Baidu says mobile search revenue "continued to grow at an exciting pace," but doesn't provide any numbers. The company stated in July mobile had grown to account for over 10% of revenue.
    • Shares +5.4% AH. Q3 results/Q4guidance, PR.
    | Oct. 29, 2013, 6:24 PM | Comment!
  • Oct. 29, 2013, 5:04 PM
    • Baidu (BIDU): Q3 EPS of $1.48 beats by $0.06.
    • Revenue of $1.45B (+42.3% Y/Y) beats by $10M.
    • Expects Q4 revenue of  $1.507B-$1.549B, above a $1.46B consensus.
    • Shares +6.8% AH. CC at 8PM ET. (PR)
    | Oct. 29, 2013, 5:04 PM | Comment!
  • Oct. 29, 2013, 12:10 AM
  • Oct. 28, 2013, 5:35 PM
  • Oct. 28, 2013, 9:52 AM
    • Baidu (BIDU -1.5%) has been cut to Hold by BNP Paribas prior to tomorrow's Q3 report.
    • ARM (ARMH -0.8%) has been cut to Hold by Benchmark six days after posting Q3 results. UBS cut shares to Neutral last Wednesday.
    • Audience (ADNC -4.6%), meanwhile, has received a similar downgrade from Benchmark in advance of a Thursday Q3 report.
    • Trimble (TRMB -2.7%) has been cut to Hold by Needham ahead of Thursday's Q3 report.
    • AutoNavi (AMAP -1.9%) has been cut to Sector Perform by Pac Crest.
    • DuPont Fabros (DFT -2.2%) has been cut to Neutral by Baird four days after delivering a Q3 beat.
    • SolarCity (SCTY +1.3%) has been started at Outperform by Credit Suisse; Q3 results are due on Nov. 6.
    • Ruckus (RKUS +1.5%) has been started at Outperform by Northland ahead of Wednesday's Q3 report.
    • Gigamon (GIMO +1.3%) has been started at Outperform by William Blair; Q3 results arrive on Nov. 4.
    • International Game Technology (IGT +2.8%) has been started at Buy by Citi.
    | Oct. 28, 2013, 9:52 AM | Comment!
  • Oct. 22, 2013, 3:54 PM
    • After opening higher in sympathy with Netflix, high-flying U.S. and Chinese Internet stocks are closing lower in sympathy with the streaming giant, which is down 8.2% after trading up over 10% AH yesterday in response to its Q3 numbers.
    • In addition to Groupon, which has been stung by an ITG Research note, U.S. decliners include Facebook (FB -1.9%), LinkedIn (LNKD -1.7%), Yelp (YELP -2.3%), Zillow (Z -2.5%), and Trulia (TRLA -1%).
    • Chinese decliners include Baidu (BIDU -1.6%), Sina (SINA -2.9%), Qihoo (QIHU -3%), Ctrip (CTRP -2.1%), and NQ Mobile (NQ -3.5%).
    • Chinese e-commerce plays Vipshop (VIPS -3.7%) and LightInTheBox (LITB -4.9%) are also lower. In addition to the general selloff, they appear to be getting hurt by Dangdang's Q3 warning.
    | Oct. 22, 2013, 3:54 PM | 9 Comments
  • Oct. 21, 2013, 1:48 PM
    • Baidu Finance Center (BIDU -2%), an online wealth management platform the aims to give depositors an 8% annual return, is being launched in partnership with China Asset Management Co.
    • Alibaba and Tencent, both of whom are increasingly butting heads with Baidu (and each other) in a number of markets, are making their own forays into online financial services, as China Internet giants see an opportunity to take share from massive state-owned banks.
    • Meanwhile, Baidu-controlled online travel site Qunar has set a price range of $9.50-$11.50 for its 11.1M-share IPO. That spells a valuation range of $1.07B-$1.3B. (S-1)
    • Baidu currently owns 61.1% of Qunar, which will trade under the symbol QUNR; it'll have a 58.8% stake following the IPO.
    • Previous: Qunar's IPO filing and 1H figures
    | Oct. 21, 2013, 1:48 PM | Comment!
  • Oct. 18, 2013, 10:29 AM
    • "We believe that Google's (GOOG +12.8%) ability to monetize experiences through engagement-based services will allow it to disrupt many hardware and software layers over time," writes Evercore's Ken Sena, exemplifying the glowing analyst commentary that has followed Google's Q3 beat.
    • Sena, who is raising his PT to $1,100, sees Google's services investments pressuring near-term margins, but also creating "a stronger platform ecosystem in which more collected data, better predictive analytics, and an increased amount of screen connectivity will lead to better overall search economics in addition to new opportunities."
    • Needham and Jefferies have raised their PTs to $1,150, and Deutsche has raised its target to $1,220. YouTube's mobile growth, strong paid click volumes, and the potential for Enhanced Campaigns to lift search ad sales (after doing less damage than expected in Q3) are all mentioned as reasons to stay bullish.
    • U.S. Internet peers continue to rally in sympathy: FB +4.1%. LNKD +3.7%. YELP +7.8%. AMZN +3.3%. Z +3.9%. TRLA +4.8%. ZNGA +2.8%.
    • Foreign Internet names are also moving higher: BIDU +5%. YOKU +6.9%. SINA +3.7%. RENN +4.4%. QIHU +4.9%. DANG +5.9%. YNDX +4%. SIFY +3.4%.
    • Google's Q3 results, details, CC remarks, transcript
    | Oct. 18, 2013, 10:29 AM | 17 Comments
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Company Description
Baidu Inc is a Chinese language Internet search provider. The Company offers a Chinese-language search platform on its website