Baidu (NASDAQ:BIDU) Lowered to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Baidu (NASDAQ:BIDU) from a strong-buy rating to a hold rating in a report published on Thursday morning, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “Baidu, Inc., formerly Baidu.com, Inc. is a Chinese-language Internet search provider and is based in Beijing, the People’s Republic of China.The company offers a Chinese language search platform and conducts its operations principally through Baidu Online Network Technology Co., Ltd. , a network of third-party Web sites and software applications. Further, the company offers Japanese search services, including Web search, image search, video search, and blog search capabilities. It also offers online marketing services to its customers directly and through other distribution networks. “

A number of other research firms have also weighed in on BIDU. Macquarie started coverage on shares of Baidu in a research note on Wednesday, November 27th. They set a neutral rating and a $134.00 price objective for the company. CICC Research raised shares of Baidu from a neutral rating to an outperform rating in a report on Thursday, November 7th. BidaskClub downgraded shares of Baidu from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report on Saturday, January 18th. Morgan Stanley raised Baidu from an equal weight rating to an overweight rating in a report on Thursday, November 7th. Finally, Sanford C. Bernstein upgraded shares of Baidu from a market perform rating to an outperform rating and boosted their target price for the company from $118.00 to $139.00 in a research note on Friday, November 8th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating and fourteen have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average price target of $146.53.

Shares of BIDU traded down $4.20 during trading hours on Thursday, hitting $130.00. The company had a trading volume of 4,305,681 shares, compared to its average volume of 4,935,786. The stock has a market capitalization of $47.09 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of -144.44, a P/E/G ratio of 3.14 and a beta of 1.77. The firm has a fifty day moving average price of $129.89 and a 200-day moving average price of $113.63. Baidu has a 52-week low of $93.39 and a 52-week high of $186.22. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.35, a quick ratio of 2.59 and a current ratio of 2.59.

Several hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Prudential PLC increased its stake in Baidu by 44.5% in the 2nd quarter. Prudential PLC now owns 2,216,196 shares of the information services provider’s stock worth $259,933,000 after buying an additional 681,970 shares in the last quarter. Nuveen Asset Management LLC lifted its position in shares of Baidu by 1,299.7% in the second quarter. Nuveen Asset Management LLC now owns 677,245 shares of the information services provider’s stock valued at $79,482,000 after acquiring an additional 628,859 shares in the last quarter. Marathon Asset Management LLP boosted its stake in shares of Baidu by 33.6% in the third quarter. Marathon Asset Management LLP now owns 1,513,513 shares of the information services provider’s stock worth $155,529,000 after acquiring an additional 380,364 shares during the period. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA boosted its stake in shares of Baidu by 9.9% in the third quarter. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA now owns 4,078,061 shares of the information services provider’s stock worth $419,062,000 after acquiring an additional 367,011 shares during the period. Finally, Waddell & Reed Financial Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of Baidu during the second quarter worth about $42,851,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 52.14% of the company’s stock.

Baidu Company Profile

Baidu, Inc provides Internet search services in China and internationally. It operates through two segments, Baidu Core and iQIYI. The Baidu Core segment offers products for uses, including Baidu App to access search, feed, and other services using mobile devices; Baidu Search to access its search and other services through its other properties and Union partners; Baidu Feed that provides users with personalized timeline based on their demographics and interests; Haokan, a short video app; and Quanmin, a flash video app for users to create and share short videos.

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