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Baidu Inc. Delivers 24% Sales Growth

By Joe Tenebruso - Apr 29, 2016 at 2:49PM

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China's leading Internet search provider is taking aggressive action to diversify its revenue streams.

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Baidu (BIDU 3.10%) reported first-quarter results on April 28. The Chinese internet titan continues to enjoy strength in its core search business and surging growth in its transactional services.

Third-quarter revenue jumped 24.3% year over year to $2.5 billion and 31.2% after adjusting for Baidu's divestiture of online travel business Qunar in October. Online marketing revenue rose 19.3% to $2.3 billion, driven by a 12% increase in active online marketing customers, which rose to 587,000 in the first quarter, along with a 6.7% increase in revenue per online marketing customer to $3,939.

Baidu continues to make progress with its mobile initiatives, with mobile search monthly active users, or MAUs, for March increasing 9% year over year to 663 million, and mobile maps MAUs leaping 19% to 321 million. That helped mobile revenue increase to 60% of Baidu's total revenues, up from 50% in Q1 2015.

Also seeing strong growth is its transaction services segment, with gross merchandise value (GMV) soaring 268% to $2.5 billion. "We are pleased to deliver very strong results for the first quarter, and our integrated online marketing and transaction services platform continued to exhibit strength and momentum," said CFO Jennifer Li in a press release.

That growth continues to come at a cost, however, with management noting that Baidu's transaction services business reduced the company's non-GAAP operating margins by 25.7 percentage points in the first quarter.

All told, net income declined 18.9% to $308 million, or 13.9% when excluding share-based compensation, and adjusted earnings per share fell 13.1% to $1.06.

Looking ahead
Management expects second-quarter revenue to land between $3.119 billion and $3.192 billion, representing year-over-year growth of 21.3% to 24.2% and 28.1% to 31.1% after adjusting for the Qunar divestiture. "We had an excellent start to 2016, and we've made great strides toward realization of our vision to connect people with information and services and provide an integrated solution to our customers," said Chairman and CEO Robin Li. "In 2016, we will continue to build out our integrated platform, and explore the new business opportunities that our core business has opened up for us."

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