Baidu (NASDAQ:BIDU) Upgraded to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

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Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Baidu (NASDAQ:BIDU) from a strong sell rating to a hold rating in a research report sent to investors on Wednesday 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. “

Several other research analysts also recently weighed in on the company. Barclays reiterated a hold rating and set a $102.00 price target on shares of Cboe Global Markets in a research note on Friday, July 12th. ValuEngine downgraded Zymeworks from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Saturday, May 18th. Morgan Stanley set a $196.00 price target on Alibaba Group and gave the stock a buy rating in a research note on Tuesday, March 26th. Nomura cut their price target on Baidu from $181.00 to $147.00 and set a neutral rating for the company in a research note on Monday, May 20th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. set a GBX 3,200 ($41.81) price target on Diageo and gave the stock a neutral rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 10th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have given a hold rating and ten have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $178.17.

Shares of Baidu stock opened at $112.25 on Wednesday. Baidu has a 1 year low of $106.80 and a 1 year high of $265.73. The stock has a market cap of $39.05 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 14.39, a PEG ratio of 6.03 and a beta of 1.64. The company’s fifty day simple moving average is $114.24. The company has a current ratio of 2.76, a quick ratio of 2.76 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.34.

Baidu announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a share buyback plan on Thursday, May 16th that allows the company to buyback $1.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization allows the information services provider to reacquire up to 1.9% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are generally an indication that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. Cetera Advisor Networks LLC raised its holdings in shares of Baidu by 2.5% during the 4th quarter. Cetera Advisor Networks LLC now owns 2,654 shares of the information services provider’s stock valued at $424,000 after buying an additional 65 shares in the last quarter. Sage Capital Advisors llc raised its holdings in shares of Baidu by 0.8% during the 1st quarter. Sage Capital Advisors llc now owns 8,040 shares of the information services provider’s stock valued at $1,325,000 after buying an additional 67 shares in the last quarter. Kistler Tiffany Companies LLC raised its holdings in shares of Baidu by 12.6% during the 1st quarter. Kistler Tiffany Companies LLC now owns 663 shares of the information services provider’s stock valued at $109,000 after buying an additional 74 shares in the last quarter. American Beacon Advisors Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Baidu by 71.2% during the 1st quarter. American Beacon Advisors Inc. now owns 202 shares of the information services provider’s stock valued at $33,000 after buying an additional 84 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Independent Advisor Alliance raised its holdings in shares of Baidu by 5.5% during the 1st quarter. Independent Advisor Alliance now owns 1,735 shares of the information services provider’s stock valued at $286,000 after buying an additional 90 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 59.32% 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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