The coronavirus outbreak, which triggered panic across China, has also affected the country’s corporate world. Baidu, Inc. (NASDAQ: BIDU), the Chinese language internet search provider, recently postponed the release of its fourth-quarter earnings report for taking precautionary measures. As per the revised schedule, the company will be publishing the results on February 27. An earnings conference call will be held on the same day at 8:15 pm ET.
The revision was necessitated by the emerging situation that demands precautionary measures to prevent the epidemic. Meanwhile, online entertainment firm iQiyi, which is owned by Baidu, also rescheduled its earnings release to February 27, citing the coronavirus crisis.
The Chinese government has instructed companies operating in the affected areas to suspend their operations, so as to carry out the containment drive effectively. iQiyi plans to hold an earnings conference call on February 27 at 7:00 pm ET.
Currently, Baidu’s management is looking for a 4-6% growth in fourth-quarter revenues to the range of RMB 28.3 billion or US$4.06 billion to RMB 28.9 billion or US$4.15 billion, which is slightly above the company’s earlier forecast. Core revenue is forecast to grow 4-6%. The company also predicts that adjusted net income attributable to Baidu Core would grow 50-55% year-over-year.
In the third quarter of 2019, Baidu’s adjusted earnings plunged 36% year-over-year to $1.76 per ADS as weakness in the core business weighed on the top-line. At $3.92 billion, revenues were up 3%.
Last week, the positive guidance issued by the management triggered a rally and the shares have been gaining strength since then. In the past twelve months, the stock dropped 22%.
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