Baidu Breaks $100, but It Can't Break Bears

For the first time in more than a month, shares of Baidu (NASDAQ: BIDU  ) hit triple digits.

However, perhaps the biggest surprise to China's leading search engine breaking above $100 today is that it got a pretty bearish analyst reaction yesterday.

Maxim Group initiated coverage with a sell rating, slapping the stock with a gloomy $80 price target.

Maxim Group has its reasons to be pessimistic, naturally. The firm sees Baidu's margins contracting as it reaches out to smaller advertisers. This comes at a time when Qihoo 360 (UNKNOWN: QIHU.DL  ) has disrupted the search market with an engine of its own that launched this summer. When one also factors in Baidu's push to matter in the tricky-to-monetize mobile market, Maxim Group feels that a bearish outlook is warranted.

Well, let's break that down.

China's economy is improving, and it's why many analysts are starting to sing a different tune when it comes to growth stocks in the world's most populous nation.

Macquarie Group analysts now believe that Youku (UNKNOWN: YOKU.DL  ) -- the fast-growing yet profitless streaming video leader in China -- may be positing its first profitable quarter.

Gee, if the monetization prospects for chunky video are improving, what does that signal for search and mobile?

Stateside investors used to have a negative opinion about mobile monetization, but then Facebook (NASDAQ: FB  ) broke the mold. As soon as Mark Zuckerberg projected that mobile will be more lucrative than its desktop client, investors began to see the benefits of the smaller screen. The ads will be more valuable because they're not merely scattered off to the side.

Baidu has been beaten down in recent months, so it may not seem right to call Maxim Group a contrarian here. However, the bearish call comes at a time when the economic news out of China has been encouraging, and many of the country's growth leaders are starting to bounce back.

Baidu now has one more bearish analyst to prove wrong.

Betting on China
Regardless of your short-term view on the Chinese economy, there may be opportunity in Baidu. Our brand new premium report breaks down the dominant Chinese search provider's strengths and weaknesses. Just click here to access it now.

Read/Post Comments (1) | Recommend This Article (4)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On December 20, 2012, at 2:16 PM, prginww wrote:


    You know anything about Baidu announcing a "cloud phone" tomorrow? Google it.

Add your comment.

Compare Brokers

Fool Disclosure

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 2162219, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 10/24/2016 5:03:21 AM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Today's Market

updated 2 days ago Sponsored by:
DOW 18,145.71 -16.64 -0.09%
S&P 500 2,141.16 -0.18 -0.01%
NASD 5,257.40 15.57 0.30%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

10/21/2016 4:00 PM
BIDU $176.76 Up +1.59 +0.91%
Baidu CAPS Rating: *****
FB $132.07 Up +2.07 +1.59%
Facebook CAPS Rating: ***
QIHU.DL $0.00 Down +0.00 +0.00%
Qihoo 360 Technolo… CAPS Rating: **
YOKU.DL $0.00 Down +0.00 +0.00% CAPS Rating: *