Baidu Inc. (BIDU): Today's Featured Internet Winner

Baidu ( BIDU) pushed the Internet industry higher today making it today's featured internet winner. The industry as a whole closed the day up 1.4%. By the end of trading, Baidu rose $3.56 (2.7%) to $133.66 on average volume. Throughout the day, 5.1 million shares of Baidu exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.3 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $130-$134.38 after having opened the day at $130.99 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $130.10. Other companies within the Internet industry that increased today were: Deltathree ( DDDC), up 40%, LiveDeal ( LIVE), up 14.5%, Tucows ( TCX), up 12%, and SINA Corporation ( SINA), up 10.4%.

Baidu, Inc. provides Internet search services. The company offers a Chinese language search platform on its Website, Baidu.com; and a Japanese language search platform on its Website, Baidu.jp. Baidu has a market cap of $45.75 billion and is part of the technology sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 24.4, below the average internet industry P/E ratio of 44.6 and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 11.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 14 analysts that rate Baidu a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and two rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Baidu as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

On the negative front, Facebook Inc Class A ( FB), down 6.3%, Groupon ( GRPN), down 6%, Local Corporation ( LOCM), down 4.3%, and BroadVision ( BVSN), down 3.3%, were all laggards within the internet industry with NetEase ( NTES) being today's internet industry laggard.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the internet industry could consider First Trust Dow Jones Internet Idx ( FDN) while those bearish on the internet industry could consider ProShares Ultra Short Technology ( REW).

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