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

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.

Baidu ( BIDU) pushed the Internet industry higher today making it today's featured internet winner. The industry as a whole closed the day down 0.4%. By the end of trading, Baidu rose $2.18 (2%) to $111.22 on average volume. Throughout the day, 4.7 million shares of Baidu exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5.8 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $108.20-$111.68 after having opened the day at $109.50 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $109.04. Other companies within the Internet industry that increased today were: Deltathree ( DDDC), up 20%, Remark Media ( MARK), up 8.1%, LiveDeal ( LIVE), up 3.9%, and Ultimate Software Group ( ULTI), up 3.6%.
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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 $37.78 billion and is part of the technology sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 20.2, below the average internet industry P/E ratio of 36.8 and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 6.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 12 analysts that rate Baidu a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and four 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. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook.

On the negative front, Travelzoo ( TZOO), down 14.8%, MeetMe ( MEET), down 7.1%, Liquidity Service ( LQDT), down 6.5%, and Internet Initiative Japan ( IIJI), down 5.4%, were all laggards within the internet industry with SINA Corporation ( SINA) 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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