Shares of Baidu (BIDU) rose 3.5% on Thursday after-hours after the Chinese search engine giant beat both earnings and revenue estimates for the fourth quarter.
Baidu reported EPS of $1.92 per share on revenue of $3.96 billion, versus consensus estimates of $1.79 per share and revenue of $3.88 billion.
"We are excited to enter the new year on strong footing with Baidu 2018 revenues reaching RMB 102 billion, up 28% annually. The growth rate of Baidu App [daily average users] has been accelerating over the past year, up 24% year over year to 161 million in December 2018, while Haokan short video app grew to 19 million DAUs from 1 million a year ago," said Robin Li, CEO of Baidu, in a press release. "2018 was a pivotal year for Baidu, as we worked on deploying AI technologies beyond search to feed, voice assistant, AI solutions and autonomous driving, to enable more users, customers and partners to benefit from Baidu's AI."
Baidu also said that the company's diversification from mobile internet into the smart home, smart transportation, cloud and autonomous driving markets would require "heavy investments" that it expected would help accelerate the company's revenue growth in the coming years.