Baidu.com Posts A Profit
The largest search provider in the world’s most populous country posted first quarter profits this Tuesday. Baidu.com Inc., in which the American search provider Google owns a minority stake, also experienced strong sales and an increase in share prices of nearly 22 percent.
The company earned $4.4 million (or 35.2 million yuan) this last quarter, which amounts to about fourteen times its earnings of a year ago. The current earnings equal about 13 cents per American depositary share.
Baidu chief executive and chairman Robin Li understated the accomplishment, saying only that they “posted another strong quarter” and that “traffic growth remained strong.” He attributed some of the rise to improved search functions and user-friendliness, as well.
Baidu and Google control about 90 percent of the Chinese search market. Other Chinese e-marketing agencies have actually threatened lawsuits, claiming violations of the giants’ contractual obligation as marketing intermediaries. Baidu and Google appear completely undeterred, however, and their supremacy continues to push those small- and mid-sized agencies into the financial red. And interestingly enough, Baidu is actually maintaining dominance over the American juggernaut, at least for the time being.
Baidu predicts a continuance of this phenomenal growth, forecasting second quarter sales of between $23.3 and $24 million (186 to 193 million yuan).
The 22 percent jump in share prices corresponded to a $13.42 increase, reaching $74.80 in after-hours trading on the Nasdaq. During regular business hours, the company’s shares had gone down by 4 percent, or $2.29.