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Baidu rises after price target increase


Published :
Mon, 17 Sep 2007 17:49
By : Agencies
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NEW YORK (AP) - Shares of Chinese online search engine operator Baidu.com Inc. hit a new high Monday after an RBC Capital Markets analyst increased his price target for the stock on expectations for a solid third quarter.

American Depositary Shares of Baidu added $8.36, or 3.6 percent, to $243.24 in midday trading, having earlier traded as high as $245.25. Previously, Baidu has ranged between $82.24 and $235.28 over the past year.

In a note to clients Monday, RBC analyst Jordan Rohan raised his price target to $333 from $302 and reiterated his 'Outperform' rating for the stock.

Rohan believes the company should be able to bring on as many or more advertisers during the third quarter as it did in the second, and thinks its travel and education segments will perform well, too. In addition, the overall Chinese search market is growing strong, he said, and the company's salesforce keeps growing.

'We believe this is a good indication of the management team's confidence in underlying business trends,' he wrote.

Rohan said Baidu has about 5,000 employees, about 70 percent of whom work on sales and customer service aspects of its business.

Also Monday, Citi Investment Research analyst Jason Brueschke reiterated a 'Buy' rating and $250 price target for the stock in a client note. Brueschke said a Chinese search engine market survey released Monday by China IntelliConsulting Corp. showed Baidu still has a leg up over search giant Google Inc. among high-end users in the Chinese online search market.

According to the study, Baidu and Google comprise 92.4 percent of total primary users in the Chinese search market on a daily basis, the analyst said.

Brueschke added that while Google is gaining ground in Chinese online search, it appears to be coming at the expense of smaller search providers in that market such as Yahoo Inc. and Sohu.com Inc.'s Sogou search engine.

Copyright 2007 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.




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