American depositary shares of Baidu Inc. BIDU, -15.32% fell more than 8% in the extended session Thursday after the Chinese internet search company swung to a loss in the first-quarter and spooked investors by talking about near-term challenges with online marketing. Baidu said it lost RMB327 million (RMB1 a share), or $49 million (and 15 cents a share), in the quarter, versus a profit of RMB6.7 billion a year ago. Sales rose to RMB24.1 billion, or $3.59 billion, in the quarter, compared with RMB21 billion a year ago. Adjusted for one-time items, Baidu earned RMB967 million (RMB3 a share), or $144 million and 41 cents a share. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected adjusted earnings of 40 cents a share on sales $3.53 billion for the company. Baidu expects “online marketing in the near term to face a challenging environment We will take this opportunity to improve our monetization capabilities and review our businesses for operational efficiency, while recognizing the importance to invest for sustainable long-term growth,” Chief Financial Officer Herman Yu said in a statement. Baidu said its board of directors has authorized a new $1 billion share buyback program, in place until July 1, 2020.
Baidu Inc. ADR shares were trading at $132.09 per share on Friday morning, down $21.61 (-14.06%). Year-to-date, BIDU has declined -16.72%, versus a 14.78% rise in the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period.
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