Chinese search provider Baidu continued steady growth in profits in the third quarter, with a 49.7 percent jump in revenues year over year to $994.6 million, a 48.1 percent increase in profit year over year to $524.6 million and $1.37 in earnings per share for the period.
“During the quarter, we worked to improve user experience by more closely integrating Baidu’s suite of market-leading vertical products with Web search,” CEO Robin Li said in a statement announcing the results. “Mobile and cloud represent our vision for the future of China’s Internet, and Baidu will continue to proactively drive the development of this crucial ecosystem. We stand ready to meet the challenges and capture the opportunities the PC-to-mobile transition presents.”
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Wall Street, however, was less than enthusiastic about Baidu’s fourth quarter guidance, which predicts between $979.3 million to $1.010 billion in profit.
During the second quarter, Baidu made $859 million in revenue and $1.26 in earnings per share. The company surpassed analyst expectations at the time with a 60 percent increase in revenue and a 51 percent jump in profit.
Shares in Baidu have seen some fluctuation over the past quarter due to investor concerns about increased competition in the Chinese search market. A few investment banks have changed their ratings of the company as a result, with one such downgrade resulting in a temporary drop in value of 6.8 percent.
As of Monday, Baidu’s stock was trading at $113.84 a share, down almost 10 percent over the past three months.
With a near 80 percent market share, the company isn’t likely to go anywhere soon, though. Its dominant position has actually attracted significant interest from marketers that want to reach Chinese consumers. Econsultancy recently announced that it is soon to release a best practice guide for the search engine.
Baidu’s not content with just mastering the Chinese market. It has international ambitions, beginning with investments in Southeast Asia.
The company also marked a significant milestone this fall when Apple added support for Baidu’s search engine to iOS 6. It also announced during the quarter plans to invest $1.6 billion into a cloud data center.