More on the Baidu IPO (Ticker: BIDU)
From Reuters: Baidu IPO banks on name as China search leader
"The Beijing-based firm (Baidu.com), whose name comes from an ancient Chinese poem about a man in search of love, is the clear leader in China, where the search market was worth an estimated $150 million last year, according to new media consultant Shanghai iResearch.
But its home turf, a tiny fraction of the the $8 billion global search market, is still up for grabs, making the valuation Baidu is seeking hard to justify in the run-up to its final pricing and Friday trading debut, analysts said."
"In addition to global leaders Yahoo, Google and Microsoft's MSN, Baidu also faces competition at home from search engines recently launched by two of the country's Internet veterans, Sohu.com Inc. and Sina Corp. ."
"The mid-point of the company's $23 to $25 indicative range -- which the company raised this week from a previous range of $19-$20 -- would give Baidu a price-to-earnings ratio of 67 for 2005, based on the estimates of one analyst.
The company's rivals command lower multiples for this year's forecast profits, led by Yahoo with a p/e ratio of 60, Google at 58, Sina at 35 and Sohu at a relative bargain of 24."
"The offering has drawn strong interest from hedge funds -- a sign that buyers are not necessarily lining up to purchase shares for their long-term growth potential, said one source."
Facts and numbers: Baidu (BIDU) IPO - Fact Sheet
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China's Sina Corp Officially Launches New Search Engine iAsk
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