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Why Isn't Baidu's Market Cap Bigger?

By Motley Fool Staff - May 7, 2018 at 12:25PM

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The Google of China demonstrated its strengths again with its latest quarterly report.

In this segment of the Motley Fool Money podcast, host Chris Hill and senior Fool analysts Jason Moser, David Kretzmann, and Jeff Fischer put Baidu (BIDU 1.86%) under the microscope. The Chinese search leader has a massive presence in the world's most populous market, and with revenue up 31%, it's apparent that it is putting its troubles with the government in Beijing in the rearview mirror. But the stock is still only trading for six times revenue. Time to give it a look?

A full transcript follows the video.

This video was recorded on April 27, 2018.

Chris Hill: Shares of Baidu up this week after first quarter revenue grew 31%. David, am I the only one surprised that the Google of China is still as small as it is? It doesn't even have $100 billion in market cap.

David Kretzmann: They're really making a strong comeback. They had about 18 months there where the company was facing some scrutiny from the government over their searches and the quality of the search results that were displayed on their platform. But, the company has since really come back with a vengeance. I think they cleared through a lot of those regulatory government issues. They're investing a lot into artificial intelligence, whether it's speech recognition or translation, face recognition. They're working with several prominent cities in China to develop smart cities and improve city management. They're also, I think, far and away the leader in autonomous driving in China with their Apollo platform.

So, a lot of things going for the company. They have about $10 billion in net cash. Trading for about 6X revenue, which seems kind of low, certainly, when you compare it to other tech giants in China like Tencent or Alibaba, considering that revenue growth is accelerating, margins are coming back to where they were a few years ago. So, definitely one to keep an eye on.

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