By Alex Ho
Investing.com – China’s internet search leader Baidu Inc (NASDAQ:) said its revenue may slide as much as 13% in the March quarter due to the uncertain impact of the coronavirus.
Sales may drop to between 21 billion yuan ($3 billion) and 22.9 billion yuan, the company said overnight. That compared with the estimated projection of 23.4 billion yuan.
“The novel coronavirus situation in China is evolving, and business visibility is very limited,” said Herman Yu, Baidu’s chief financial officer. “Most shops, restaurants and malls across China were closed down, and many remain closed down as we speak, so consequently the rebound for online marketing after the Chinese new year has been slow this year,” Yu said, but added that the situation in the country had improved in the past two weeks.
Founder and Chief Executive Officer Robin Li said it would take time for Baidu to recover.
“The return of economic growth will be a long-term issue after the epidemic, but many new opportunities are emerging,” Li told employees in an internal memo that is cited by Bloomberg.
Baidu’s share prices rallied earlier this year after the company reported better-than-expected earnings for the December quarter. The gains were mostly wiped out, however, since the coronavirus outbreak triggered a broader selloff of Chinese stocks.
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