If you thought that Google's (Nasdaq: GOOG) growth was something special last week, pack your bags and bounce on over to Beijing.

Baidu (Nasdaq: BIDU) delivered another monster quarter last night. Revenue soared 86% to $337.2 million, with earnings more than doubling to $0.45 a share. Analysts were settling for a profit of $0.41 a share on $333.3 million in revenue.

Don't be surprised. China's leading search engine routinely lands ahead of the pros.


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There are now 272,000 advertisers on Baidu's growing Rolodex, 26% ahead of where its sponsor count was a year ago. See how revenue is growing substantially faster than the number of advertisers? The average marketer is spending a lot more to smoke out leads through Baidu.

The move validates Baidu's engine, but advertising growth in general is booming in China -- if you know where to look.

Baidu is the first of China's new wave of marketing outlets that will be reporting quarterly results in the coming weeks. Don't hold out hope for similar speedsters.

AirMedia (Nasdaq: AMCN), an advertiser in most of China's leading airports, is looking at a 61% year-over-year spurt in revenue. Other companies won't be as fortunate:

  • VisionChina (Nasdaq: VISN), with its network of multimedia monitors on bus, train, and subway systems, is believed to be heading toward a 27% top-line spurt. However, like AirMedia, it's also projected to post a small quarterly deficit.
  • New-media darling SINA (Nasdaq: SINA) is only expected to grow its top line by 7%.
  • Focus Media (Nasdaq: FMCN), a leader in billboards, elevator posters, and video monitors in high-traffic areas, is actually pegged to post a 14% decline in revenue.

Yes, shares of Baidu are expensive, but there's nothing even in China like it.

Things may be getting even better, too. Baidu's guidance for the current quarter calls for an 88% to 94% surge in revenue. Yes, even after the third quarter's meaty 76% push, there's room for accelerating growth.

Baidu isn't cheap, but it probably never will be, given its healthy growth trajectory.

Do you think Baidu is a good buy at this point? Share your thoughts in the comment box below.

Google is a Motley Fool Inside Value recommendation. Baidu and Google are Motley Fool Rule Breakers selections. Sina is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor pick. The Fool owns shares of Google. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz has only been to China once, but he relishes admiring its dot-com revolution from afar. He does not own shares in any of the stocks in this article. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.