Baidu (HKG: 09888) recorded earnings per share of $1.82 in the fourth quarter, topping the $1.33 analyst estimate by 49 cents. In addition, it reported $5.19 billion total revenue in the fourth quarter, also topping the $5.06 billion consensus estimate.
Baidu tops Q4 consensus estimates
Baidu Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder Robin Li said:
Baidu concluded a solid 2021, evidenced by a strong growth in our non-advertising business, particularly the acceleration of Baidu AI Cloud. We brought our AI capabilities to China’s traditional industries and public service sector, to aid in the improvement of their efficiency and operational expansion.
The Apollo Go segment offered about 213,000 rides in Q4, nearly doubling sequentially. This helped reaffirm the company’s leadership position in the global ride-hailing industry. In addition, the CEO claimed that their strategic commitments are aligned with China’s efforts in the green economy transition and tech innovation. The company Chief Financial Officer, Rong Luo, said:
Looking ahead, we remain committed to healthy and sustainable long-term growth as Baidu continues to improve its overall operational efficiency and execution capabilities.
The CFO said that Baidu Core had revenue growth of about 21% in the 2021 fiscal year, with a 71% increase in non-advertising revenues, which he claims has been incredibly encouraging.
Under the Share Repurchase Program of 2020, the company gave its stockholders $615 million in Q4 2021. This brought the cumulative repurchase to roughly $2.90 billion to stockholders. The company also improved its ESG rankings further in the 2021 fiscal year.
Its MSCI ESG rating was improved 3 times in 24 months to achieve BBB status. Its Sustainable ESG risk ranking was top 18 out of 234 Internet Services and Software providers worldwide.
Total revenues came to about $5.19 billion in the fourth quarter, representing a 9% year-over-year increase. Baidu Core revenue was $4.08 billion, representing a 12% year-over-year increase. Online marketing revenue came to about $3 billion, representing a 1% year-over-year growth, while non-online marketing revenue came to $1.08 billion.
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