Another monster quarter of ridiculous growth. One more catapult launch toward fresh all-time highs. More proof that the dot-com model is scalable in China, with already chunky margins expanding even more.
It's just another day at the office for China's leading search engine.
You're busy dividing $252.6 million into $528.4 million to arrive at jaw-dropping net margins of 47.8%. There aren't too many companies out there where nearly $0.48 of every dollar generated in revenue is left standing after a litany of expenses and taxes take their licks.
It's good to be Baidu.
Baidu didn't get there by being skimpy. Margins improved despite R&D costs outpacing top-line growth. Baidu is going to take every opportunity to milk the most out of its scalable model, and that doesn't come cheap.
It's not fair to say that advertisers are flocking to Baidu. The number of online marketing customers has increased by just 17% over the past year. However, the typical advertiser is now spending 53% more to generate leads through Baidu than they were a year ago. That's validation, even if a stock hitting another new high doesn't really have the burden of proof anymore.
A Chinese dot-com hitting fresh highs is special, even if it's the niche leader. Social networking site Renren
Baidu was China's largest search engine when Google
There will come a time when Baidu's insane growth will be unsustainable, but it's not happening in the near term. Baidu is targeting revenue to grow by at least 75% this quarter, landing between $611.1 million to $626.6 million. Without accounting for the search star's historically conservative guidance, analysts were perched on expectations of $567.9 million.
Baidu doesn't provide bottom-line guidance, but there's little reason to doubt that earnings will once again outpace the company's torrid revenue spurt. Spending on opportunities that present incremental revenue streams haven't slowed Baidu in the past.
Thanks for being boring, Baidu.
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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.