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Downbeat Outlook Shouldn't Dissuade You From Owning Baidu Shares

As Baidu (BIDU) stock hovers near short-term lows, prospective investors should seize the opportunity in light of impressive quarterly fiscal stats.

China's popular Internet search engine, Baidu < NASDAQ:BIDU>, is known as a tech titan. Nevertheless, the resurgence of the Covid-19 pandemic has put pressure on a wide range of companies and stocks - and BIDU stock isn't immune to this.

Another concern would be China’s increased regulatory scrutiny over tech firms during the past few months. On top of that, some traders might be worried about delisting threats for Chinese companies by U.S. regulators.

On the other hand, investors should credit Baidu for expanding its horizons. For instance, the company ventured into the artificial intelligence space last year, and also launched an autonomous taxi service in China.

Yet, the share price doesn't seem to reflect optimism or an open mind to Baidu's evolving business. That shouldn't be a problem for value seekers, though, as there's an opportunity to take advantage of what might be a temporary bargain in the markets.

A Closer Look at BIDU Stock

Suffice it to say that late 2020 and early 2021 were good times for Baidu's loyal investors.

From November of last year to February of 2021, BIDU stock shot up from the $130's to more than $350. It was a stunning rally which, unfortunately, couldn't be sustained.

After topping out, the Baidu share price commenced a multi-month decline. By Aug. 13, the stock had fallen to $153 and change.

At the same time, Baidu's trailing 12-month price-to-earnings ratio was 7.21. That's very low for a technology stock nowadays, and it indicates that there's a prime bargain here.

What we have is a change to own BIDU stock at the same price we saw in late 2020. It's not every day that traders get a second chance to own a stake in a famous company at a greatly reduced price point.

A Terrific Quarter, by the Numbers

Even though the investing community's immediate reaction to Baidu's second-quarter fiscal data wasn't positive, they really ought to be optimistic.

Baidu's second-quarter revenues increased 20% year-over-year to 31.35 billion yuan, which would translate to $4.85 billion. That results beat Wall Street's estimate of 30.9 billion yuan, or roughly $4.635 billion.

Furthermore, the company reported earnings of $2.39 per share, a 15% increase over the year-ago quarter. This result easily topped Wall Street's consensus estimate of $2.07.

On top of all that data, Baidu CFO Herman Yu emphasized more second-quarter highlights for his company:

"Baidu Core revenue grew 27% year over year in the second quarter, boosted by AI cloud growing 71% year over year... Baidu's search and feed business was solid, and we continue to execute and lead on our new AI business, including AI cloud, autonomous driving and smart assistant."

Visibility Is Limited

So, what could investors possibly see in Baidu's earnings release, which might be a cause for concern?

It might have been the company's frank statement about the unclear future for China's businesses.

"The Covid-19 situation in China is evolving and business visibility is limited," Baidu stated.

I would suggest that this is already a known factor. Therefore, concerns about the spread of Covid-19 in China have probably already been priced into BIDU stock.

Another negative point might be Baidu's forecast of 30.6 billion yuan to 33.5 billion yuan in revenues for the September quarter (which translates to $4.7 billion to $5.2 billion).

This range mostly (though not entirely) falls below the analysts' consensus estimate of 33.1 billion yuan, or $5.14 billion.

Baidu's revenue forecast shouldn't dissuade people from owning BIDU stock shares, as the company is still predicting robust revenues despite the challenges of Covid-19.

The Bottom Line

There's no way to predict how China's tech businesses will fare during the next several months.

Yet, it's reasonable to conclude that Baidu will earn substantial revenues.

Even as some folks continue to worry, the second-quarter fiscal data was impressive, and that's bullish for BIDU stock.

The stock market can be unpredictable, volatile, and sometimes totally nonsensical. strives to cut through the noise and bring you information on what matters – and how it impacts your portfolio. We deliver thoughtful coverage on everything from stocks to cryptos to pre-IPO investments. So whether you live and breathe breaking stock news or expect your stocks to pay you, has your back.

On the date of publication, David Moadel did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the Publishing Guidelines.

BIDU shares were trading at $146.69 per share on Monday afternoon, down $5.76 (-3.78%). Year-to-date, BIDU has declined -32.16%, versus a 20.03% rise in the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period.

About the Author: David Moadel

David Moadel has provided compelling content – and crossed the occasional line – on behalf of Crush the Street, Market Realist, TalkMarkets, Finom Group, Benzinga, and (of course) He also serves as the chief analyst and market researcher for Portfolio Wealth Global and hosts the popular financial YouTube channel Looking at the Markets.


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