Baidu shares jump more than 4 percent after earnings beat

Key Points
  • Baidu reported fourth quarter earnings and revenue that beat Wall Street expectations.
  • Baidu shares climbed 4.65 percent after the announcement.
Baidu rallies after topping estimates

Chinese search engine Baidu reported quarterly earnings and revenue that beat analysts' expectations on Tuesday.

Here's how the company did compared with what Wall Street expected:

  • EPS: RMB 14.90 ($2.29) vs. RMB 13.38 expected, in a Thomson Reuters survey of analysts.
  • Revenue: RMB 23.56 billion ($3.62 billion) vs. RMB 23.053 billion expected in the Thomson Reuters survey.

Baidu shares climbed more than 4 percent on the news.

Baidu earnings have surpassed analyst expectations throughout 2017. For the fiscal year, the company reported earnings per share of RMB 64 ($9.79) on revenue of RMB 84.8 billion ($13.03 billion), which just outpaced the earnings per share of RMB 60.04 on RMB 84.66 billion in revenue, expected by analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters.

Baidu also saw quarterly revenue grow by 29 percent year-over-year, and full-year revenue grow by 20 percent since 2016.

Executives attribute Baidu's growth to efforts to advanced artificial intelligence (AI) development and mobile search optimization. The company plans to continue investing in these areas in the coming year with emphasis on newer projects, like Apollo and DuerOS , which the company showcased at CES.

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"Entering 2018, we plan to continue our strategy to exit non-core businesses and increase investments in Baidu's mobile and new AI businesses, which we believe play to Baidu's strengths as a technology leader and will sow the seed for Baidu's future growth in autonomous driving and conversational AI, particularly in the home environment," Baidu CFO Herman Yu said in a statement.

Last quarter, the company spun off its Baidu Deliveries and mobile games businesses to focus more resources on AI and its application to a variety of other projects. In that same quarter, Baidu beat expectations on earnings by a wide margin, but just missed analyst consensus on revenue.

Even as it trimmed deliveries and mobile games, Baidu pushed further into projects executives hope will help level the playing field with competitors Alibaba and Tencent.

Most recently, the company sought upwards of $2 billion in investments to strengthen its push into financial services. Executives hope to augment pre-existing financial services, including online credit service and wealth management platform Baidu Wallet.

Baidu has also thrown its hat into the autonomous vehicle game, striking up relationships with Ford, ON Semiconductor and, most recently, BlackBerry to develop self-driving technology.

Baidu even announced plans in October to release a fully autonomous bus in China in 2018.

As of Monday's close, Baidu shares were up 20.46 percent year over year.