Baidu's Dynamics Mirror Google

Includes: BIDU, GOOG
by: FP Trading Desk

Shares of Inc. (NASDAQ:BIDU) are again flirting with the $400 mark after falling more than $100 in just one week back in early November.

The Chinese-language Internet search provider appears to be doing much better these days after a disappointing October, RBC Capital Markets analyst Stephen Ju said in a research note.

The firm’s checks suggests Baidu’s fourth quarter for 2007 will be better than expected. As a result, Mr. Ju boosted his sequential growth estimate by 1% to 17%, compared to the consensus at 15%. He also thinks first quarter 2008 guidance will come in ahead of consensus, and hiked his price target to $423 from $345.

Thanks to its recent e-commerce and branded advertising initiatives, Baidu is becoming more central in China’s Internet market, the analyst said, adding that a similar situation played out for Google Inc. in the U.S.

Mr. Ju said,

Whereas eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY) and Yahoo (YHOO) occupied a central role in the past, Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) has claimed the position of centrality through its relevant search results and focus on customer experience. We see the same dynamic for Baidu in China.