Baidu surges after stock split

By Blake Ellis, staff reporter


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Shares of Baidu soared in afternoon trading Wednesday after the Chinese search giant split its stock 10 to 1.

Baidu (BIDU) jumped about $6, or more than 8%, to $77.37 a share.

Before the stock split, which increased Baidu's shares outstanding and cut the per-share price by more than $600, the company's shares were trading around $700 each.

"The shares became much more available to a wide audience," said Andrey Glukhov, an analyst at Brean Murray, Carret & Co. "So all of a sudden, if you're a retail investor, these investments became a lot more affordable."

Investors were also drawn to Baidu after its largest Chinese search competitor, Tencent (TCTZF), released first-quarter earnings Wednesday and hinted that its search initiative will continue to take a while to complete, said Glukhov.

"This reiterates in the mind of investors that with Google's departure from China, Baidu is very well positioned," he said.

Baidu's stock split comes only weeks after the company announced that its profit had more than doubled since January, when rival Google first announced that it may leave China.

When Google decided to move its servers out of mainland China and announced in March that it would stop censoring its search results in the country, Baidu gained significant share of the Chinese Internet search market.

At the end of last year, Google had 36% of the market share and Baidu had about 58%. But in the first quarter alone, Baidu gained an additional 6% of the market, and Glukhov said the company is on track to eventually capture more than half of Google's total market share.

And even as inflationary pressures loom and investors worry that China's red-hot growth may cool, Glukhov doesn't expect Baidu to lose momentum any time soon.

"China is arguably one of the world's fastest growing economies," he said. "Even if it cools off some, it's still going to be one of the fastest growing economies, so I don't think the investor audience is concerned about that."

While Baidu's advertising business would naturally be affected by a slowdown in growth, Baidu will still be able to outperform the broader advertising market, Glukhov said.

Year-to-date, Baidu has risen more than 88%, while shares of Google (GOOG, Fortune 500) have dropped about 18%. To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 17,047.04 64.45 0.38%
Nasdaq 4,468.73 23.82 0.54%
S&P 500 1,984.11 5.20 0.26%
Treasuries 2.47 -0.02 -0.72%
Data as of 10:28am ET
Company Price Change % Change
Frontier Communicati... 6.87 0.93 15.66%
AT&T Inc 36.94 1.29 3.62%
Windstream Holdings ... 12.90 2.38 22.55%
CenturyLink Inc 40.52 2.81 7.45%
Verizon Communicatio... 52.46 0.88 1.70%
Data as of 10:12am ET

Sections

New annual report from U.S. government shows the long-term prognosis for Medicare has improved thanks to slower health spending, while the outlook for Social Security remains unchanged. More

These niche sectors are attracting attention -- and, more importantly, money -- from small business lenders. More

Steve Mason, a pastor from California, inherited more than $100,000 in student loan debt when his 27-year-old daughter died suddenly in 2009. With interest and late penalties, the debt has since ballooned to $200,000. More

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.