Baidu.com Beats, Traders Subdued Ahead of Conference Call (BIDU)

April 24, 2008 by Douglas A. McIntyre

Baidu.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: BIDU) just posted earnings of $0.67 non-GAAP EPS on $81.9 million revenues. The estimates for the Chinese online search engine leader from First Call were $0.60 EPS on $75.39 million in revenues.  Traffic acquisition costs (TAC) was $10.9 million.

Baidu.com also gave guidance on a preliminary basis for the next quarter with revenues of $111 to $114 million.  Next quarter estimates from First Call are $0.91 EPS on $100.6 million in revenues.

As of March 31, 2008, Baidu’s cash and equivalents were $237.6 million.  Its online marketing customers during the first quarter grew to approximately 161,000, an increase of 3.9% sequentially.

Shares fell 2% today after being higher and closed down at $342.00.  The shares are up about 1.6% after this report, probably as traders try to assume a higher TAC associated percentage and as they try to figure that into the equation.  Depending on that conference call, this reaction could be far different as we noted that a $250.00 straddle earlier today cost more than $53.00 because of a $100.00 move since March.

Unfortunately, its conference call is set up for 8:00 PM EST.

Jon C. Ogg
April 24, 2008