Based on the aggregated intelligence of 160,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool's free investing community, Chinese search giant (Nasdaq: BIDU) has received a distressing two-star ranking.

With that in mind, let's take a closer look at Baidu's business and see what CAPS investors are saying about the stock right now.

Baidu facts

Headquarters (Founded)

Beijing, China (2000)

Market Cap

$19 billion


Internet software and services

Trailing-12-Month Revenue

$651.5 million


Co-Founder/CEO Yanhong Li
CFO Jennifer Li

Trailing-12-Month Return on Equity


Price-to-Earnings (BIDU and S&P 500)

120.5 and 19.1

1-Year Return



Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) (Nasdaq: SOHU)
SINA (Nasdaq: SINA)

Strategic Partners

Nokia (NYSE: NOK)
Ominture (Nasdaq: OMTR)

Sources: Capital IQ (a division of Standard & Poor's) and Motley Fool CAPS.

On CAPS, 16% of the 3,733 members who have rated Baidu believe the stock will underperform the S&P 500 going forward. These bears include DarthMaul09 and mistercube.

Less than two months ago, DarthMaul09 nicely described his bear call on Baidu: "Speculative bet that Internet searches are not a high priority for the Chinese government. Google's problem with China should not suggest that Baidu has an advantage, but that it may not be easy for any information company to work with China."

In a pitch from one week earlier, mistercube also explained why there are more profitable places to search:

Search is not a zero-sum game; Google's losses aren't necessarily Baidu's gains.

What hasn't gained traction yet is the notion that Google users, even IF that company were to withdraw from the Chinese market, might simply opt for [Yahoo!] or [Microsoft's (Nasdaq: MSFT)] search rather than flocking to [Baidu].

Finally, what happens if/when the Chinese state severs the tethering of their currency to the dollar? The domestic option could seem less attractive by comparison. Coupled with my own personal (and possibly misplaced) skepticism regarding the transparency and reliability of Chinese corporations' profits, I just can't imagine buying here. If you must buy search, why not just buy Google for the many reasons already named by people in this forum?

What do you think about Baidu, or any other stock for that matter? If you want to retire rich, you need to protect your portfolio from any undue risk. Staying away from dangerous stocks is crucial to securing your financial future, and on Motley Fool CAPS, thousands of investors are working every day to flag them. CAPS is 100% free, so get started!

Fool contributor Brian Pacampara owns no position in any of the companies mentioned. Microsoft and Nokia are Motley Fool Inside Value recommendations. Baidu, Google, and are Motley Fool Rule Breakers selections. Sina is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor pick. Motley Fool Options has recommended a diagonal call position on Microsoft. The Fool's disclosure policy always gets a perfect score.