Baidu (NASDAQ: BIDU) and Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG) are both large-cap computer and technology companies, but which is the better investment? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their valuation, risk, earnings, profitability, analyst recommendations, institutional ownership and dividends.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

65.5% of Baidu shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 34.6% of Alphabet shares are owned by institutional investors. 16.7% of Baidu shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 13.9% of Alphabet shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent recommendations and price targets for Baidu and Alphabet, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Baidu 1 9 12 0 2.50
Alphabet 1 6 37 0 2.82

Baidu presently has a consensus price target of $208.85, suggesting a potential downside of 7.40%. Alphabet has a consensus price target of $1,029.18, suggesting a potential upside of 12.37%. Given Alphabet’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe Alphabet is more favorable than Baidu.

Profitability

This table compares Baidu and Alphabet’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Baidu 18.08% 14.43% 7.06%
Alphabet 19.49% 13.66% 11.40%

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Baidu and Alphabet’s gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Baidu $11.12 billion 7.03 $3.18 billion $5.26 42.88
Alphabet $99.28 billion 6.39 $32.25 billion $27.55 33.24

Alphabet has higher revenue and earnings than Baidu. Alphabet is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Baidu, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Volatility & Risk

Baidu has a beta of 1.95, indicating that its stock price is 95% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Alphabet has a beta of 0.94, indicating that its stock price is 6% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

Alphabet beats Baidu on 8 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Baidu

Baidu, Inc. is a Chinese language Internet search provider. The Company offers a Chinese language search platform on its Baidu.com Website that enables users to find information online, including Webpages, news, images, documents and multimedia files, through links provided on its Website. In addition to serving individual Internet search users, the Company provides a platform for businesses to reach customers. Its business consists of three segments: search services, transaction services and iQiyi. Search services are keyword-based marketing services targeted at and triggered by Internet users’ search queries, which mainly include its pay-for-performance (P4P) services and other online marketing services. Its transaction services include Baidu Nuomi, Baidu Takeout Delivery, Baidu Maps, Baidu Connect, Baidu Wallet and others. iQiyi is an online video platform with a content library that includes licensed movies, television series, cartoons, variety shows and other programs.

About Alphabet

Alphabet Inc. is a holding company. The Company’s businesses include Google Inc. (Google) and its Internet products, such as Access, Calico, CapitalG, GV, Nest, Verily, Waymo and X. The Company’s segments include Google and Other Bets. The Google segment includes its Internet products, such as Search, Ads, Commerce, Maps, YouTube, Google Cloud, Android, Chrome and Google Play, as well as its hardware initiatives. The Google segment is engaged in advertising, sales of digital content, applications and cloud offerings, and sales of hardware products. The Other Bets segment is engaged in the sales of Internet and television services through Google Fiber, sales of Nest products and services, and licensing and research and development (R&D) services through Verily. It offers Google Assistant, which allows users to type or talk with Google; Google Maps, which helps users navigate to a store, and Google Photos, which helps users store and organize all of their photos.

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