China-based internet search firm Baidu Inc. (NASDAQ: BIDU) reported its unaudited financial results for the quarter ended March 31, 2020, on Monday after the market closes. The results exceeded analysts’ expectations.
The top-line fell by 7% year-over-year due to its diversified revenue streams, including marketing services for wide-ranging industries, new AI businesses and iQIYI Inc. (NASDAQ: IQ). Other revenues jumped by 28% on strong growth in iQiyi membership, cloud service and smart devices.
In March, a month after the peak of COVID-19 new cases, Baidu’s traffic remained robust with Baidu App DAUs reaching 222 million, up 28% year over year, in-app search queries up 45% and feed time spent up 51%. iQIYI subscribers reached 118.9 million, up 23% year over year, in March 2020.
Baidu’s board of directors recently approved a 2020 Share Repurchase Program effective until July 1, 2021, under which the company may repurchase up to $1 billion of its shares. Looking ahead into Q2 of 2020, Baidu expects revenue to be $3.5-3.9 billion, representing a growth rate of -5% to +4% year-over-year. The COVID-19 situation in China is evolving, and business visibility is very limited.
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