Chart: Baidu Revenue Growth Slows, As Google China Return Looms
Leading search engine Baidu Inc. reported slowing revenue growth in its latest reporting quarter and predicted further slowdowns toward the end of the year, as the market anticipated a return of global leader Google LLC to the world’s largest internet market.
Baidu reported the numbers as its margins contracted noticeably in the quarter, often a sign of growing competition. The company currently has few serious local competitors, though it has been overhauling its core search business following a scandal involving misleading search results two years ago. Google is also planning a return to the China search market, which its CEO publicly discussed earlier this month.
Baidu reported its revenue rose 27% in the third quarter to 28.2 billion yuan ($4 billion), down from 32% revenue growth in the previous quarter, according to its latest results announced on Tuesday. It forecast its revenue growth would drop to between 15% and 20% in the current quarter. Its profit for the quarter rose 56% to 12.4 billion yuan.
Baidu also announced that between June and September it bought back $487 million worth of its shares to support the stock during a recent sell-off. Shares of most major Chinese internet companies have come under similar pressure due to China’s slowing economy, and Baidu’s own shares have lost nearly a third of their value from a peak in early July.
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