After watching Sohu.com
What if China's other dot-coms offer equally bleak outlooks? The first quarter has been a seasonally soft time for Chinese Internet companies, but Sohu's guidance called for a sharper sequential dip than what the online portal typically experiences.
Maybe things could have been different had Baidu
Baidu is making investors wait this time around. It doesn't report its quarterly results until a week from Thursday.
The Feb. 16 report date isn't unusual. Baidu did report its prior year's fourth-quarter results at the end of January, leading many to assume that it would have reported its financials last week ahead of Sohu. However, it has been mid-February for Baidu's calls every year before that.
The market isn't holding Sohu's performance against Baidu.
"That's the only Chinese stock that I like," Jim Cramer told viewers of last night's Mad Money when asked about Baidu.
Analysts are upbeat about Baidu. They see revenue and earnings climbing 88% and 82%, respectively. Sohu's report will place a greater emphasis on what Baidu has to say about 2012, but -- as we've seen in the U.S. -- paid search and display advertising are two entirely different markets.
Sohu's disappointing report will make next week's Baidu report more interesting, but it's Baidu that will ultimately be the niche's bellwether.
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Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Sohu.com, Sina, and Baidu. 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. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz calls them as he sees them. He does not own shares in any of the stocks in this story. Rick is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.