China's Baidu delays earnings date on coronavirus fears

FILE PHOTO: Baidu's logo is pictured at the 2018 Baidu World conference and exhibit to showcase its latest AI technology in Beijing, China, November 1, 2018. REUTERS/Jason Lee

(Reuters) - China's Baidu Inc BIDU.O said on Friday it was delaying the announcement of its fourth-quarter results and advised its employees in the country to work from home for a time period after the Lunar New Year holiday due to the recent outbreak of a new coronavirus.

The company, which postponed the announcement date by more than two weeks to Feb. 27, said the revised date would give it more time to observe the business condition for the first quarter of 2020.

The virus, which originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan, has spread across the world and prompted many companies to close stores and restrict travel to and from the country. The fast-spreading virus has killed over 200 people.

Baidu, whose search engine dominates the market in China, said it now expects fourth-quarter revenue in a range of 28.3 billion yuan ($4.10 billion) to 28.9 billion yuan, compared with its previous forecast of 27.1 billion yuan to 28.7 billion yuan.

Shares of Baidu were up about 5% in extended trading.

($1 = 6.9040 Chinese yuan renminbi)

Reporting by Akanksha Rana in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel