Baidu.com (BIDU), the leading Chinese language search engine, hit a new 52-week high of $108.28. Baidu’s was established in 2000 by co- founders, Robin Li and Eric Xu and the initial public offering was August 5, 2005 opening at $66 per share. Baidu recently announced a multi-year agreement with eBay’s China arm, EachNet, to cooperate in advertising, on-line payment and a co-branded toolbar.
“Baidu’s local know-how and attentive customer service create barriers for its competitors,” wrote WR Hambrecht analyst James Lee in a note to investors. Lee initiated coverage of Baidu with a “Buy” rating and a $130 price target. “We feel that Baidu was able to extend its lead over its peers by leveraging its strong sales support to advertisers and/or agencies,” Lee wrote. “This customer-centric strategy enables advertisers to get greater control of their marketing programs, thus creating demand for Baidu’s services over its competitors.”