China’s Baidu beats revenue estimates


Aided by a recovery in advertising and a surge in demand for its cloud services and artificial intelligence platforms, China’s Baidu Inc reported quarterly revenue above Wall Street expectations on Wednesday.

The results come as Baidu beefs up its autonomous and smart transport technology to tap into the fast-growing electric-vehicle market and diversify revenue sources. Last month, it said it would set up a smart electric vehicle (EV) company with Geely.

As the domestic economy recovers, the Beijing-based company’s investments in non-core businesses is also helping it fend off competition to its core search platform from rivals Alibaba, Tencent Holdings and ByteDance, whose products are equally popular.

Baidu said it expects current-quarter revenue between 26 billion yuan and 28.5 billion yuan, above expectations of 25.79 billion yuan.

Its total revenue rose 5% to 30.26 billion yuan ($4.69 billion) in the fourth quarter, topping analysts’ average estimate of 30.06 billion yuan, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Excluding items, Baidu earned 20.08 yuan per ADS, beating estimates of 16.89 yuan.

Its U.S.-listed shares, which have gained more than 70% in 2020, rose 3.4% to $317 in after-market trading.