Friday, July 22, 2011

Baidu, Inc. (NASDAQ: BIDU): Q2 Earnings Preview 2011

Baidu, Inc. (NASDAQ: BIDU) is scheduled to release its second-quarter eanings after the closing bell on Monday, July 25, 2011. Analysts, on average, expect the company to report earnings of 66 cents per share on revenue of $502.08 million. In the year ago quarter, the company reported earnings of 35 cents per share on revenue of $282.30 million.

Baidu, Inc. provides Chinese and Japanese language Internet search services. The Company conducts its operations in China principally through Baidu Online Network Technology (Beijing) Co., Ltd., its wholly owned subsidiary in Beijing, China. Baidu holds a 75 percent market share in China by revenue, according to Analysys International.

In the preceding first quarter, the Beijing, China-based company's net income was of $163.5 million, or 47 cents per American Depository Share, compared to a profit of $70.4 million, or $2.10 per share, a year ago, before a 10-for-1 stock split. Revenue surged 88% to $372 million. Analysts, on average, expected the company to report earnings of 45 cent per share on revenue of $367.38 million..

At its last earnings call in April, Baidu said that it expects second-quarter revenue of $493.3 million to $503.9 million. Baidu's Chief Financial Officer Jennifer Li said the company would continue to support long-term growth by focusing significant investment on research and development, marketing and network infrastructure, among other things, in the next few quarters.

According to statistics released by China Internet Network Information Center on July 19, the scope of China's Internet users has reached 485 million and is expected to exceed 500 million by the end of 2011, with the Internet penetration rate standing at 36.2 percent. 

Baidu, which has increased its focus on e-commerce and online video, grabbed more market share last year after rival Google Inc curtailed its operations following a high-profile fallout with Beijing over censorship. Baidu is the No. 1 Internet search engine in China with a 70 percent market share.The competitive landscape for Baidu has remained markedly positive despite the fact that Google has officially reentered the market. Their technologies seem to be outpacing their direct competitors and they have made some wise investments in social media.

Early this month, Baidu signed a deal with Microsoft's Bing to offer English-language search to Baidu users. 

Baidu is now looking to fuel growth mainly by boosting its core search advertising business, but it is also branching out to seek other potential sources of revenue. The company recently released an Internet browser that will compete with Microsoft Corp.'s (NASDAQ: MSFT) Internet Explorer and Google Inc.'s (NASDAQ: GOOG) Chrome.

Baidu has been also trying to up its game in both e-commerce and social networking. The company recently closed a deal that allows the company to provide download services of music from Universal Music, Warner Music and Sony Music. Baidu also launched a social music platform called "Baidu ting!" through which users can obtain and share some music-related information and content.

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