Baidu (BIDU) Trading Down 16.5% After Analyst Downgrade

Shares of Baidu Inc (NASDAQ:BIDU) were down 16.5% on Friday after ValuEngine downgraded the stock from a hold rating to a sell rating. The company traded as low as $126.91 and last traded at $128.31. Approximately 28,140,857 shares were traded during mid-day trading, an increase of 734% from the average daily volume of 3,373,385 shares. The stock had previously closed at $153.70.

A number of other analysts have also recently weighed in on BIDU. Barclays set a $210.00 price objective on shares of Baidu and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, January 18th. Citigroup dropped their price objective on shares of Baidu from $262.00 to $205.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a report on Tuesday, January 22nd. KeyCorp set a $236.00 price objective on shares of Baidu and gave the stock a “positive” rating in a report on Wednesday, January 23rd. OTR Global raised shares of Baidu to a “positive” rating in a report on Friday, January 25th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Baidu from a “hold” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a report on Friday, January 25th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating and ten have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $207.21.

A number of institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. FMR LLC increased its stake in Baidu by 149.7% during the 1st quarter. FMR LLC now owns 82,956 shares of the information services provider’s stock valued at $13,674,000 after buying an additional 49,735 shares during the period. IHT Wealth Management LLC increased its stake in Baidu by 14.6% during the 1st quarter. IHT Wealth Management LLC now owns 3,877 shares of the information services provider’s stock valued at $639,000 after buying an additional 495 shares during the period. Covenant Partners LLC acquired a new position in shares of Baidu in the 1st quarter worth approximately $661,000. Wunderlich Capital Managemnt grew its stake in shares of Baidu by 3.8% in the 1st quarter. Wunderlich Capital Managemnt now owns 7,428 shares of the information services provider’s stock worth $1,224,000 after purchasing an additional 269 shares during the last quarter. Finally, RMB Capital Management LLC acquired a new position in shares of Baidu in the 1st quarter worth approximately $383,000. 60.69% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

The company has a market capitalization of $53.27 billion, a PE ratio of 16.45, a P/E/G ratio of 4.35 and a beta of 1.44. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.31, a quick ratio of 2.73 and a current ratio of 2.73.

Baidu declared that its Board of Directors has initiated a stock buyback program on Thursday, May 16th that allows the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization allows the information services provider to buy up to 1.9% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are generally a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

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Baidu Company Profile (NASDAQ:BIDU)

Baidu, Inc provides Internet search services in China and internationally. It operates through two segments, Baidu Core and iQIYI. The Baidu Core segment offers products for uses, including Baidu App to access search, feed, and other services using mobile devices; Baidu Search to access its search and other services through its other properties and Union partners; Baidu Feed that provides users with personalized timeline based on their demographics and interests; Haokan, a short video app; and Quanmin, a flash video app for users to create and share short videos.

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