Feb 4 Baidu Inc, China's largest search
engine company, posted a 36 percent rise in profit in the fourth
quarter, its slowest growth since 2009 as competition in the
sector heats up and more users switch to mobile search.
Shares of Baidu were down 85 cents at $106.35 in after hours
trading on Monday.
Baidu had previously warned of a soft fourth quarter as
China's economy slows.
Industry analysts warn that rapidly changing user habits and
an increasingly crowded search market could weigh on revenue in
the near future.
Fourth-quarter revenue rose 41.6 percent year-on-year to
$1.017 billion, above Wall Street targets and its own forecast
of $979.3 million to $1.010 billion.
Baidu posted net income of $448.7 million, or $1.28 per
American Depository Share, in the three months ended Dec. 30.
Excluding certain items, Baidu said it had earnings of $1.31 per
For the first quarter, Baidu said it expects revenue of
between $945.4 million to $975.9 million. Analysts polled by
Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S were looking for revenue of $964 million
on average in the first quarter.
Baidu shares have fallen about 7 percent since the end of