“Baidu Inc. (BIDU), owner of China’s most- used search engine, forecast the slowest quarterly sales growth in three years, lower than analysts’ estimates, as a weaker economy deters online advertising spending.
Revenue will range from 6.16 billion yuan ($987 million) to 6.35 billion yuan in the fourth quarter, Beijing-based Baidu said in a statement yesterday. That compares with the 6.41 billion-yuan average of 13 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg.
The top end of the forecast range represents year-on-year sales growth of 42 percent, the slowest pace since the fourth quarter of 2009, when revenue gained 40 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Slowing economic growth in China is damping demand for online advertising at the same time Baidu is fending off new competition from Qihoo 360 Technology Co. (QIHU), maker of China’s most-used Web browser.”Twitter