After tumbling 7% last week, shares of Baidu (NASDAQ:BIDU) rose on Monday and are trading nicely higher through Tuesday afternoon.
Last week was rough. Baidu hit a two-year low. However, it wasn't even one of China's biggest losers last week. I went over 10 of the country's growth stocks that suffered double-digit dives last week. The market spat out stocks from the world's most populous nation on delisting fears as U.S. regulators continue to butt heads with auditors for Chinese companies in fraud probes.
No one is questioning Baidu's numbers. It just happens to be in the wrong place at the right time.
However, with the stock closing below $100 for what should be 20 days in a row today, the questions to ask are if the company will bounce back -- and when.
Yes, Baidu will bounce back. Even if Qihoo 360 (UNKNOWN:QIHU.DL) proves to be more than just a trendy and temporary market share grabber, Baidu is too cheap to ignore. The stock is trading for just 15 times forward earnings, and this is a company that analysts continue to see growing at a headier clip than that next year.
So when will it bounce back?
Well, that's up to both China in general and Baidu itself.
Baidu spooked investors in October with its guidance calling for a sequential dip in revenue this quarter. When it reports again in late January or early February of next year, Baidu better make sure that it's not showing deeper scars from the freshman success of Qihoo 360.
China also needs to play along. The slowing economy isn't fatal. China's still growing faster than most of the world's major powers. Stateside investors' uncertainty regarding Chinese equities is the one thing that needs to be settled.
There are plenty of bargains among fallen dot-com darlings in China these days, but they're only cheap if investors are comfortable in the prospects of buying into the world's largest online audience.
Betting on China
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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Aristotle Munarriz has no positions in the stocks mentioned above. The Motley Fool owns shares of Baidu. Motley Fool newsletter services recommend 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.