Markets

Why Baidu Stock Dropped 15% in August

BIDU Chart

What: Shares of China's leading Internet search engine, Baidu , dropped by 14.7% last month, according to S&P Capital IQ data . The stock's post-earnings-report slump continued into August, with fears surrounding China's slowing economy and plunging stock market also taking a toll.

BIDU data by YCharts

So what: Baidu's shares were hit hard in late July after the company issued a third-quarter revenue and earnings outlook that disappointed Wall Street . In addition, second-quarter earnings rose only 3% year over year even as revenue surged 38%, as escalating costs related to Baidu's online-to-offline initiatives ate into profits.

With China's economy slowing further since that time -- and its stock markets continuing to plummet -- concerns are growing that Baidu's impressive revenue growth may also come under pressure. Adding to those concerns are the recent actions taken by China's central bank to devalue the yuan, which can ding Baidu's financial results since the U.S. exchange-listed company reports its figures in U.S. dollars even though it earns its revenue primarily in yuan.

Together with analysts' trepidation regarding Baidu's heavy investments in its O2O efforts , these macroeconomic fears have resulted in a swath of Wall Street downgrades, which likely added to the decline in Baidu's stock price.

Now what: It's quite possible that Baidu's revenue and earnings may be subdued in the near term as China's economy struggles with slowing growth. And Baidu's stock could certainly fall further, particularly as volatility remains rampant in China's stock market. Fools, however, strive to maintain a long-term perspective, and in that regard, Baidu's prospects appear far brighter.

China's approximately 650 million Internet users outnumber the entire population of the United States more than twice over. Still, that means more than 700 million Chinese have yet to gain full access to the Internet. Combined with the growing purchasing power of Chinese consumers, this represents a multidecade growth opportunity for Baidu.

Yet after a more than 40% decline from its 52-week high, Baidu's market cap now sits at $50 billion. While that's a large sum, it pales in comparison to Google 's $450 billion market capitalization. When factoring in Baidu's massive long-term market opportunity, that discrepancy seems far too large. So much so, that Baidu's stock may be too good a bargain for investors to pass up.

This $19 trillion industry could destroy the Internet

One bleeding-edge technology is about to put the World Wide Web to bed. And if you act quickly, you could be among the savvy investors who enjoy the profits from this stunning change. Experts are calling it the single largest business opportunity in the history of capitalism... The Economist is calling it "transformative"... But you'll probably just call it "how I made my millions." Don't be too late to the party -- click here for one stock to own when the Web goes dark.

The article Why Baidu Stock Dropped 15% in August originally appeared on Fool.com.

Joe Tenebruso has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns and recommends BIDU, GOOG, and GOOGL. (A shares), and Google (C shares). Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days . We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy .

Copyright © 1995 - 2015 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy .

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

In This Story

BIDU

Other Topics

Stocks

Latest Markets Videos

The Motley Fool

Founded in 1993 in Alexandria, VA., by brothers David and Tom Gardner, The Motley Fool is a multimedia financial-services company dedicated to building the world's greatest investment community. Reaching millions of people each month through its website, books, newspaper column, radio show, television appearances, and subscription newsletter services, The Motley Fool champions shareholder values and advocates tirelessly for the individual investor. The company's name was taken from Shakespeare, whose wise fools both instructed and amused, and could speak the truth to the king -- without getting their heads lopped off.

Learn More