Baidu, Inc. (BIDU - Free Report) recently announced a public offering of notes aggregating $250 million by reopening the company's existing 4.375% notes due 2024. These notes are expected to be listed on the Singapore Exchange Securities Trading Limited.
Notably, on a year-to-date basis, eBay’s shares have lost 22.3% compared with the industry’s decline of 19.7%.
Purpose of the Offering
Baidu expects to receive net proceeds of US$249 million from the offering, after deducting underwriting discounts and commissions, along with estimated offering expenses. The company stated that the transaction proceeds will be used to repay its existing debt and for general corporate purposes.
At the end of third-quarter 2018, cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments were RMB104.5 billion ($15.22 billion). Net operating cash inflow was RMB 11.4 billion and capital expenditures were RMB 2.2 billion.
We believe that the company has a strong balance sheet, which will help it to capitalize on investment opportunities, further improving its growth prospects. The senior notes’ offering will bring down the company’s cost of capital, in our view, thereby strengthening the balance sheet and supporting growth.
Baidu provides Internet search services in China. It also offers a Chinese language search platform for businesses to reach customers.
Baidu’s increasing presence in the autonomous driving space is helping in improving its competitive position. The company has made significant strides to improve the quality of healthcare information and related healthcare services.
Some of the current buoyancy surrounding the shares is related to the company’s dominance in the mobile search market and online video, as well as its consistent product development efforts. We believe that it has significant growth potential in the mobile market over the long haul.
However, higher promotional expenses, heavy spending on new growth areas and increasing competition in its own search platform pose concerns.
Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider
Baidu currently carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). Some better-ranked stocks in the broader technology sector include AMETEK, Inc. (AME - Free Report) , QuinStreet, Inc. (QNST - Free Report) and Stamps.com Inc. (STMP - Free Report) , each carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
Long-term earnings growth rate for AMETEK, QuinStreet and Stamps.com is currently pegged at 11.18%, 25% and 15%, respectively.
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