Baidu’s stock rose about 11 percent in after hours trading following the company’s fourth quarter results, which showed better than expected revenue growth despite a slowing economy.
The company’s total revenue for the fourth quarter was 18.7 billion yuan ($2.9 billion USD), beating analyst expectations. Mobile revenue represented 53 percent of the company’s total revenue for the fourth quarter of 2015, up from 42 percent in the same period last year.
Baidu’s mobile advertising revenue drove growth, as the company’s mobile search capabilities continued to give them an edge. The company’s online marketing revenue grew 32 percent in 2015, breaking a million online marketing customers.
Despite the Baidu’s strong finish to 2015, the company is still under pressure to produce results from heavy investments in the on-demand sector. Baidu has “doubled down” on their O2O services in an attempt to gain a foothold against competing platforms from Tencent and Alibaba. In June 2015 Baidu committed to spend $3.2 billion USD on services platform Nuomi, which competes directly with newly-merged rivals Meituan Dianping, currently backed by both Alibaba and Tencent.
Baidu executives have been publicly bullish on the company’s ability to turn massive investments and acquisitions into market-leading assets. “Even as China’s overall growth slows, services and domestic consumption are growing. Services and domestic consumption-related verticals are supported by the government’s Internet+ initiative and hold tremendous potential,” said CEO Robin Li in a release detailing Baidu’s fourth quarter earnings.
The company’s shares are currently sitting at $175 USD, roughly 85% percent of their total worth this time last year.