Business, Internet

Baidu Posts Decent Search Engine Growth In China But Expects Negative Impact In Q4

Chinese search engine company Baidu Inc. announced its unaudited financial results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2009, and stated though its revenue rose, it forecasts weakness in the Chinese Internet sector.

Total revenues for Baidu.com in the third quarter of 2009 were CNY1.28 billion, a 39.1% increase from the corresponding period in 2008. Operating profit in the third quarter of 2009 was CNY521.4 million, a 41.6% increase from the corresponding period in 2008. Net income in the third quarter of 2009 was CNY492.9 million, a 41.7% increase from the corresponding period in 2008.

However, Baidu expects moderate year-over-year growth for the fourth quarter of 2009 due to the temporary negative impact anticipated when its Online Marketing Classic Edition service is discontinued. Baidu currently expects to generate total revenues in an amount ranging from CNY1.19 billion to CNY1.23 billion for the fourth quarter of 2009, representing 32% to 36% year-over-year growth.

Baidu had about 216,000 active online marketing customers in the third quarter of 2009, representing an 11.3% increase from the corresponding period in 2008 and a 6.4% increase from the previous quarter. Revenue per online marketing customer for the third quarter was approximately CNY5900.00, a 25.5% increase from the corresponding period in 2008 and a 9.3% increase from the previous quarter.

Income tax expense was CNY49.1 million ($7.2 million), compared to an income tax expense of CNY34.8 million in the corresponding period in 2008. The effective tax rate for the third quarter of 2009 was 9.1% as compared to 9.1% for the corresponding period in 2008 and 11.8% in the previous quarter. Baidu.com states that it recognized a tax benefit of CNY15.3 million for the third quarter of 2009, attributable to obtaining preferential income tax status for one of its subsidiaries for the year of 2008.

As of September 30, 2009, the company had cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments of CNY4.0 billion. Net operating cash inflow and capital expenditures for the third quarter of 2009 were CNY733.9 million and CNY129.6 million, respectively.

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