Stocks jump as iQiyi streaming boosts revenue

Shares of Chinese internet giant Baidu increased by more than 4% in afternoon trading after better-than-expected third quarter results.

Here are the highlights for the three months ended September 30:

  • Revenue of 28.08 billion yuan ($ 3.93 billion, according to the revenue release rate). It was relatively flat from year to year.
  • Excluding commodity items, earnings per share was 12.61 yuan, beating market expectations but representing a 34% year-over-year decline.

Analysts polled by Refinitive had projected 27.49 billion yuan in sales and adjusted earnings per share of 7.88 yuan.

Baidu has faced a number of headwinds this year, including a slowing Chinese economy amid a protracted US-China trade war, increased competition from new search players such as TikTok owner ByteDance, and increased control by regulators in the ad market in the world's second largest economy.

Baidu shares have fallen 32% this year.

But the Chinese company has been looking to diversify its revenue and reduce its dependency on its core search business, expanding to areas such as driverless cars, artificial intelligence and streaming. The first two are seen as future growth areas for the company, but the iQiyi video platform already delivers the goods.

iQiyi's revenue reached 7.4 billion yuan ($ 1[ads1].04 billion), up 7% year over year, while subscribers jumped 31%. iQiyi, which is listed separately in the US but is majority owned by Baidu, saw the shares jump over 4%.

Meanwhile, Baidu has also been trying to increase its mobile offering. The search giant has previously been criticized for its slow shift to mobile as consumers spend increasingly time on so-called super apps. These are products like Tencent & # 39; s WeChat or Ant Financials Alipay where a user can do a variety of things – from payments to ordering food – all within an app.

Baidus' own app that combines search, news and videos with the goal of increased user engagement, daily active users now reach 189 million, an increase of 25% from the previous year in September.

The company's core business also remained resilient, a positive sign for investors.

"Our focus on combining search and feed and expanding Baidu Apps content and services offerings is to enhance the user experience and to attract publishers and service providers to place more content and services on Baidu's hosted platform, which in turn draws more users," said Robin Li, chairman of Baidu, in a statement.

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