After rescheduling its fourth-quarter earnings report due to disruptions caused by the Coronavirus outbreak, China-based internet search firm Baidu Inc. (NASDAQ: BIDU) unveiled the results on Thursday. Earnings rose sharply and exceeded the estimates on a 6% revenue growth. The company said its first-quarter results would be affected by the Coronavirus situation.
Adjusted earnings rose to RMB 26.54 per ADS or US$3.81 per ADS from RMB 13.42 per ADS in the fourth quarter of 2018. Net income was RMB 6.35 billion or US$911 million, compared to RMB 2.08 billion last year.
Revenue up 6%
Total revenues rose 6% annually to RMB 28.88 billion or US$4.15 billion from RMB 27.20 billion a year earlier. A marked increase in cloud services, smart devices, and iQIYI membership revenues was partially offset by lower online marketing revenues.
Baidu Core revenues were up 6% and iQIYI revenues moved up 7%. The results also exceeded Wall Street’s forecast.
At the end of the quarter, the number of average daily active users of the Baidu App was 195 million, up 21% from last year. Also, monthly voice queries on voice assistant DuerOS crossed the 5-billion mark. There ware 106.9 million iQIYI subscribers in December 2019.
“We finished 2019 making tremendous progress in strengthening Baidu’s mobile ecosystem. Baidu’s new AI businesses have also made great strides in 2019, as we built leadership in smart devices, smart transportation and enterprise cloud solutions with Baidu’s leading AI technologies,” said CEO Robin Li.
Earlier, the management had revised up its fourth-quarter revenue outlook to the range of US$4.06-4.15 billion. For the first quarter of 2020, Baidu expects revenues to be in the range of RMB 21 billion to RMB 22.9 billion, or US$3-3.3 billion, representing a year-over-year decline of 5% to 13%. Baidu Core revenue is estimated to decline 10-18% year over year, reflecting the coronavirus situation in China.
Baidu’s shares closed Thursday’s regular session lower. The stock dropped 25% in the past twelve months and 10% since the beginning of the year.
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