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Baidu Feeds the Bad News Bears

Rick Aristotle Munarriz
March 4, 2013

The bears are piling up on Baidu (NASDAQ: BIDU).

A whopping 10.6 million shares were sold short as of mid-February according to Nasdaq's latest bi-monthly update. This is nearly twice the number of bearish wagers that were placed on China's leading search engine a year ago. Baidu's short interest hadn't topped 9 million over the past year until now.

The worrywarts appear to be right -- for now.

February wasn't a good month for Baidu. The shares surrendered 16% of their value last month. A poorly received quarterly report early in the month didn't help, and concerns about Qihoo 360 (NYSE: QIHU) gaining ground since rolling out its own search platform last summer continue to linger.

Qihoo 360 reports tomorrow, and it could ding Baidu if it has some encouraging metrics to offer up on its nascent search initiatives.

This doesn't mean that there aren't a lot of things working