Baidu Inc (ADR) (BIDU): Earnings Fall Below Expectations, Analysts Remain Divided


Baidu Inc (ADR) (NASDAQ:BIDU), a Chinese-language Internet search engine, released its second quarter fiscal 2015 earnings on July 27, performing below analyst consensus expectations. Following the release of their Q2 earnings, Baidu stock fell 12% in value in pre-market trading.

While the Street expected the company to post $1.87 earnings per share, Baidu fell short and reported adjusted Q2 earnings of $1.81 per share. However, the company did rake in $2.67 billion in total revenue, meeting Street expectations.

Baidu CEO Jennifer Li called the earnings “solid financial results…with [the company’s] core search business exhibiting strong growth and attractive profitability.” Li claimed the “solid base of [Baidu’s] core search business, coupled with upward momentum of [its] O2O e-commerce initiatives” drove the quarter’s earnings.

On July 28, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster maintained an Overweight rating on Baidu but lowered his price target to $210 from $230. Munster stated that while he had concerns about how the Chinese market turmoil could affect the company in the short-term, he believes “Baidu has proven its investment playbook in the past and remain[s] confident in the long-term for BIDU.”

Gene Munster has rated Baidu 8 times since 2009 with 50% success recommending the stock and an average return of 50.5% per BIDU recommendation. Munster’s overall success rate recommending stocks is 68% with a +26.4% average return per recommendation when measured over a one-year horizon and no benchmark.

BIDU Munster

On the other hand, Brean Capital analyst Fawne Jiang downgraded Baidu from Buy to Hold on July 28. Jiang claimed that Baidu’s “commitment to invest RMB 20bn in the coming years to scale up its O2O business aimed at securing a leading position in this still largely untapped market” represents a “strategically right direction for BIDU.” However, Jiang warned that Baidu’s challenge is that it is in a “highly competitive [mobile Internet market] with multiple players racing for scale across key segments.”

Fawne Jiang has rated Baidu 8 times since 2011 with 33% success recommending the stock and an average return of 4.0% per BIDU recommendation. Jiang’s overall success rate recommending stocks is 40% and a -0.8% average loss per recommendation when measured over a one-year horizon and no benchmark.

BIDU Jiang

Out of 10 analysts polled by TipRanks, 4 analysts are bullish on Baidu and 6 are neutral. The average 12-month price target for Baidu is $213.50, marking an 8.00% potential upside from where stock last closed.

On average, the top analyst consensus for Baidu on TipRanks is Hold.