Baidu Inc (NASDAQ:BIDU) Shares Sold by Principal Financial Group Inc.

Principal Financial Group Inc. trimmed its position in shares of Baidu Inc (NASDAQ:BIDU) by 77.2% in the 1st quarter, according to the company in its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm owned 174,276 shares of the information services provider’s stock after selling 591,026 shares during the period. Principal Financial Group Inc.’s holdings in Baidu were worth $28,729,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently made changes to their positions in the business. Highstreet Asset Management Inc. grew its holdings in Baidu by 1.5% during the fourth quarter. Highstreet Asset Management Inc. now owns 4,016 shares of the information services provider’s stock valued at $637,000 after purchasing an additional 61 shares during the period. Cetera Advisor Networks LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Baidu by 2.5% in the fourth quarter. Cetera Advisor Networks LLC now owns 2,654 shares of the information services provider’s stock worth $424,000 after acquiring an additional 65 shares during the period. Sage Capital Advisors llc boosted its holdings in shares of Baidu by 0.8% in the first quarter. Sage Capital Advisors llc now owns 8,040 shares of the information services provider’s stock worth $1,325,000 after acquiring an additional 67 shares during the period. Jennison Associates LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Baidu by 2.0% in the fourth quarter. Jennison Associates LLC now owns 3,538 shares of the information services provider’s stock worth $561,000 after acquiring an additional 68 shares during the period. Finally, Kistler Tiffany Companies LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Baidu by 12.6% in the first quarter. Kistler Tiffany Companies LLC now owns 663 shares of the information services provider’s stock worth $109,000 after acquiring an additional 74 shares during the period. 59.78% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Shares of BIDU stock opened at $114.01 on Friday. The company has a current ratio of 2.76, a quick ratio of 2.76 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.34. Baidu Inc has a 52-week low of $106.80 and a 52-week high of $274.00. The firm has a market capitalization of $39.51 billion, a P/E ratio of 14.62, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 6.15 and a beta of 1.69.

Baidu announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a share buyback program on Thursday, May 16th that allows the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization allows the information services provider to buy up to 1.9% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are typically a sign that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.

A number of research firms have recently commented on BIDU. BidaskClub raised Baidu from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Tuesday. KeyCorp set a $220.00 price target on Baidu and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a report on Tuesday, April 23rd. They noted that the move was a valuation call. UBS Group lowered Baidu from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a report on Monday, May 20th. Daiwa Capital Markets set a $215.00 price target on Baidu and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, March 8th. Finally, ValuEngine raised Baidu from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, April 4th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have issued a hold rating and nine have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $191.69.

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About Baidu

Baidu, Inc provides Internet search services in China and internationally. It operates through two segments, Baidu Core and iQIYI. The Baidu Core segment offers products for uses, including Baidu App to access search, feed, and other services using mobile devices; Baidu Search to access its search and other services through its other properties and Union partners; Baidu Feed that provides users with personalized timeline based on their demographics and interests; Haokan, a short video app; and Quanmin, a flash video app for users to create and share short videos.

Further Reading: What is a Leveraged Buyout (LBO)?

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Baidu (NASDAQ:BIDU)

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