Tim "Jigsaw" Beyers has somehow cast me in a twisted version of Saw 4. He expects me to chew through one Rule Breaker to save another. The thing is that even though I like Suntech Power (NYSE:STP), you can't compare solar panels to ad panels.

Instead, let me try to chew through the domestic search heavies that Tim claims are so much cheaper than Baidu.com (NASDAQ:BIDU). Are they really? Let's take a look at some of the numbers.

2006 EPS

2007 EPS


2007 P/E





















EPS estimates source: Capital IQ, a division of Standard & Poor's.

On average, Baidu is growing four times faster than its stateside peers. More to the point, just one of the four companies is trading at a forward earnings multiple that is lower than its bottom-line growth rate. That would be Baidu, you cheapskates. Sure, one can argue that Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is just starting to dabble in paid search or that Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO) has an inflated multiple because of Yahoo! Japan. It doesn't change my case.

Tim then claims that Baidu has "no unassailable advantages" even though it has grown market share over the past year despite the millions and billions being pumped into the region by Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), Yahoo!, and Microsoft. Surely it must be doing something right. Why else would Microsoft have handed over the MSN China paid-search opportunities to Baidu last month? Why else would Viacom (NYSE:VIA) turn to Baidu to stream MTV videos? Baidu has the largest fleet of Chinese advertisers, and those sponsors are spending more and more with every passing quarter.

Baidu as George McFly? The only thing I see when I look at Tim's chart is the smooth ascent that finds the shares nearly tripling since bottoming out 11 months ago. I would back up the truck -- or the DeLorean -- if I could go back in time for a piece of that action.

In the words of McFly, "I'm your density. I mean, your destiny."

You're not quite done yet! To see the bear rebuttal and the opening arguments, click here. If you've already read everything, cast your vote for the winner here.

Baidu is a recent selection in the Rule Breakers growth stock newsletter service. Yahoo! is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendation. Microsoft is an Inside Value pick.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz has been to mainland China just once, but he longs to brush up on his Mandarin and make it another go of it. He does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this story. Rick 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.