Market Value and Stock Options for Baidu Inc. Investors

In this edition of The Motley Fool's "Ask a Fool" series, Motley Fool analysts Jason Moser and Brendan Mathews take a question from a reader who asks, "I'm perplexed with Baidu's valuation metrics. They seem reasonable. Why doesn't the market see more value in this name?"

Looking back at Baidu's (NASDAQ: BIDU  ) most recent earnings it reached 160 million daily active mobile search users for the quarter, up from 130 million two quarters ago, and advertisers are spending more. With features like Baidu Maps and Baidu Cloud, this is a Google-like company. However, if we compare the two valuation-wise, Baidu trades for around 10 times sales versus Google's 6 times sales. One of the concerns today is that Baidu's sales growth is coming at a cost of investing in the business. Add that to the fact that it is a Chinese company, which means that there is less transparency and a far greater risk of government intervention, and it's going to be a volatile holding.

Ultimately, while Jason thinks Baidu can be a good long-term holding, he wouldn't pursue an options strategy with it.

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