As trade worries flared up again, the spotlight turned to Chinese stocks this week.
In an unusual confluence, the three major Chinese tech stocks -- Baidu (BIDU - Get Report) , Alibaba (BABA - Get Report) and Tencent (TCEHY) -- all reported their quarterly earnings within days of each other, giving investors a glimpse into how the Chinese internet economy is weathering renewed trade tensions and other macro factors. Trade negotiations between the White House and Beijing broke down several days ago, leading to a $60 billion retaliatory tariff by China on U.S. goods and roiling the markets on Monday.
Baidu, which runs China's largest search engine and is comparable to Alphabet (GOOGL - Get Report) in many ways, posted one of its worst quarters in years that included a rare loss of $47.5 million. In a press release, Baidu CFO Herman Yu pinned some of the weakness on a "challenging environment" for online marketing. Baidu's longtime head of search, Hailong Xiang, has also resigned from the Internet conglomerate. Its stock was down more than 14% after its quarterly report on Thursday after the close.
E-commerce giant Alibaba fared far better in its earnings, soundly beating analysts' estimates on revenue and earnings. Stabilizing consumer confidence in the market, coupled with Alibaba's ongoing expansion internationally and into non-core businesses like cloud computing, helped to boost its results, and executives downplayed the impact of a U.S.-China trade war on its business.
Alibaba's Non-GAAP earnings came in at came in at $1.27 per share, ahead of the 95 cents forecast by analysts and up 39.5% from the same period. Alibaba shares are down about 4% since it posted its earnings on Thursday morning ET, but up 28.4% overall this year.
Finally, Tencent, the conglomerate that runs WeChat and a multitude of other internet services, topped earnings estimates but missed on revenue. It also showed signs of slowing growth in advertising sales, but as noted by RealMoney's Eric Jhonsa, there's still much to like about Tencent's stock as its gaming business improves. Tencent shares are down about 4% since reporting its latest earnings on Thursday morning ET.